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Deputy Leo joins Pima County Sheriff's Department - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Deputy Leo joins Pima County Sheriff's Department

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TUCSON-There's a new deputy at the Pima County Sheriff's department, but this one won't handcuff, arrest, or put people in jail.

Instead it will comfort people in their time of need.

His name is Deputy Leo, its short for law enforcement officer.

The four legged deputy is a 5/12 month old English lab. He’s currently training with his partner Shawn Degan. 

Leo was picked up on Monday and is part of the mental health support team at the Sheriff's Dept.

His title, a Crisis Response K-9, he will be helping people who are going through a critical incident or a traumatic event in their life.

Degan said, “We will deploy with him and he will help comfort and calm them through the post traumatic time they will be dealing with.”

For example the Las Vegas incident that just occurred, had Leo been certified the sheriff’s department would have taken him to Nevada to help the victims. 

Studies show dogs have an instant calming effect on people by reducing the stress Degan said, “Being able to pet the dog, hug the dog, sit with the dog, and help reduce the stress a lot”

Leo didn't cost taxpayers any money.  Yet he will be helping taxpayers should they find themselves in a crisis. 

Cenpatico paid for the dog, the training and the officers training.

Pima County Sheriff's Department is one of the few in the country using a Crisis Response K-9. Scottsdale is the only other department in the state. 

Leo will train over the next five to seven months. Afterward, he'll be certified and ready to be deployed anywhere from a facility to the field.

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