“Sometimes the hardest thing to do in an investigation is to build a relationship with the victims so that they trust you to disclose their abuse,” said Detective Sergeant Heather Palumbo, of the Special Victims Unit. victims.

NORTH SCITUATE, RI (WLNE) – The Rhode Island State Police has added new initiatives to its Special Victims Unit: a “soft” interview room and the agency’s first-ever comfort dog.

On Friday, the state police announced its new “soft” interview room, where victims and witnesses can feel more comfortable sharing their stories with investigators to effectively solve a case.

The division also introduced its very first comfort dog, K-9 Gus.

Gus is a nine week old Goldendoodle who is trained to help reduce anxiety and stress for victims, witnesses and the investigator during the interview process.

Over the next year, Gus will learn basic obedience as a comfort dog in training and will also be used as a community helper.

“Sometimes the hardest thing to do in an investigation is to build a relationship with the victims so that they trust you to disclose their abuse,” Det. sergeant. Heather Palumbo, from the Special Victims Unit, explained. “We hope that by using the soft room and K-9 Gus, we can more quickly gain a victim’s trust and empower them to be helpful in their own case.”

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