YULEE, Fla. — Situations, where law enforcement have to be called, can cause officers and the people involved to feel a range of emotions, from anxiety to stress. Now the Nassau County Sheriff's Office has a new member with lots of fur to work as a comfort dog.
“He really enjoys going around and visiting with everyone," said Lt. Renee Graham, Tank's handler.
Tank is a Bernese Mountain Dog who's been making his rounds at work.
“Since we’ve gotten Tank, when people see me, the first thing they look for is Tank. They’re kind of looking around me looking for Tank. If Tank isn’t with me, they ask, ‘Where is Tank?’ He’s definitely the center of attention and the star," Graham said.
The idea is Tank becomes the center of attention by helping law enforcement and members of the community focus on him during stressful situations.
“It involves a lot of tension, a lot of stress, a lot of situations that are uncomfortable, and Tank, as soon as you see him, you can’t help but just want to love on him," Graham said.
Tank is already well known even though he's only been on the job for two weeks.
“Some of the officers have treats for Tank. He knows where they’re at. He’ll make his way to that office, and not only put a smile on Tank’s face because he gets a treat but also those he’s providing service for," Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said.
Tank is 105 pounds of fur and personality. He knows 75 commands, including kiss, rollover, and make a friend.
Patriot Service Dogs provide companions to veterans, and this is the first time they donated a dog to a law enforcement agency.
“This is perfect for him. I feel like Tank will affect so many people. You can’t help but smile and feel good when you’re in Tank’s presence," said Mike Applebaum, a volunteer with Patriot Service Dogs.
Tank has a vest. He even has a badge. The big boy with paws gives love and comfort to people in their time of need.