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Williston police comfort dog gets his own book

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 8:41 AM EST
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WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Williston Police Department’s comfort dog wants to help with your holiday gift buying. The furry officer now has his own book called “K-9 Duke the Comfort Dog.”

“The children’s book was an idea coming out of left field for me,” said Williston Officer Matthew Cohen, Duke’s handler “That’s kind of part of the program, is we open up to all sorts of ideas and ways to get out in our community.”

The book follows Cohen and his K-9 companion through a typical day while showing his skills.

“Duke is, as you can see, has a very sweet giving demeanor, and people just can’t help but be happy in his company. People tend to be less stressed and more at ease with themselves. Whether that is with Matt, whether he is dealing with a domestic situation or a juvenile situation or just going out into the community and just increasing relations with the community and the police department, Duke fosters that,” said Karen Sturtevant, a co-author.

Sturtevant says that personality is what she and Officer Cohen were trying to capture. “Basically, out of everything they do, we tried to snapshot that into 27 pages,” she said. From school visits to training, it’s a showcase of smiles.

Cohen says local illustrator Max Bahr captured everything, even the sleepy moments. “The book is really a great opportunity to show what our program can do, in a way that children can understand and show the benefit that Duke brings to the community,” he said.

Cohen and Sturtevant say they’re excited to offer the book to the community and hope word of the possibilities for police comfort dogs spreads. “We’re going to refine our skills as a comfort dog team. We want to make sure we get our team out there more often,” said Cohen.

The trio will be at Guys Farm and Yard in Williston on Saturday signing and selling copies of the book from 10 a.m. until noon.

You can also find it on Amazon as well as at the Williston Police Department. Part of the proceeds go back into helping fund Duke’s program.

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