West Fargo Police Department launches comfort dog and School Resource Officer team

Photo by: City of West Fargo
Photo by: City of West Fargo

(West Fargo, ND) -- The West Fargo Police Department has announced it is launching a School Resource Officer and comfort dog team with the addition of new K-9 Bella. This program is possible through a donation from SCHEELS and partnership with West Fargo Public Schools.

K-9 Bella is a 14-month old Labrador mix from the United States. Bella and her handler, SRO Todd Pearson, are the first comfort dog SRO team in the state of North Dakota. Bella is a trained comfort dog and will achieve certification in the coming months.

Bella will assist SRO Pearson in his role fostering positive relationships with students, parents, faculty and staff. With the addition of K-9 Bella, SRO Pearson will help students struggling with anxiety and depression, improve student morale and increase overall positive interactions.

As part of the larger Community Outreach Programs and Services Unit the two will also assist with public events and community outreach, as well as respond to traumatic and crisis response incidents. K-9 Bella will also assist in the department’s officer wellness programs, including the Peer Support Team.

The West Fargo Police Department will work with West Fargo Public Schools to proactively address issues related to students’ allergies or fears.