Officer Heidi is a trained K-9 and service dog working with the Yale Police Department. She’s also the first service dog posted to an Ivy League campus.
“Meet Heidi, Yale Police’s service dog!” officers wrote on Facebook. “Her sole job is to be a calming, comforting presence for students, staff, faculty, hospital patients, and the community at large.”
Officer Heidi is still relatively new, but she’s quickly become the most popular officer on campus.“She just makes my day so much brighter,” one grad student, Kelly Qiu told WFSB, describing her joy of seeing the comfort dog on patrol.
“We love having Heidi around,” another grad student, Felix Aidala, agreed. “We just had her come over last week. We got to play [with] her and pet her, and it definitely helped relieve stress.”
But Officer Heidi’s soothing approach isn’t limited to Yale’s student body. Officer Heidi is also a pro at boosting officer morale.
“It warms my heart every day I’m with Heidi and I go home with my best friend and come to work with my best friend,” Heidi’s human partner, Rich Simons, told the station. Officer Simons also said working with Heidi made him feel 22 again!
In addition to her daily stress-busting duties, Officer Heidi helps comfort students following incidents on campus. For example, Officers Heidi and Simmons recently helped comfort students after a bomb threat on campus.
“I went around with Heidi and created smiles with them, Heidi would go up and wag her tail and say ‘hi,’ would give them kisses and interact with them,” Officer Simons told the station. “They just kept saying ‘thank God for having Heidi around, that made our day a lot better in this tough situation.’”
“Heidi is really a Rockstar, that’s the only way to really describe who she is,” said Campbell, who also applauded the dog’s role in building bridges between officers and the community. “By having a beautiful yellow lab comfort therapy dog like Heidi, it changes the perception when it comes to policing and dogs.”