September 20, 2023 / News, Success Stories

“Tails” of K9: Meet Walker

Walker is a 4-year-old yellow Labrador retriever. He joined SDPD’s Wellness Unit as their first wellness canine in October 2021.

Police officers experience more violence and trauma during their careers than the average civilian might encounter in an entire lifetime. The Wellness Unit focuses on overall physical and mental well-being which are the building blocks for cultivating more mindful, resilient, and compassionate officers.

Wellness canines like Walker are psychological support dogs for mental health that can detect anxiety, sadness, anger, fear, and stress, helping SDPD officers, civilian professionals, and their families. As “the Wellness Ranger”, Walker brings smiles to peoples’ faces. He knows when someone needs a cuddle on the couch, or when they need a little laugh as he rolls over for belly rubs.

Every day, Walker provides a safe space for officers to spend a few minutes to relax, take a breath, and reframe their thinking in a more positive way. SDPD employees constantly tell Walker, “You made my day.”

Walker was generously donated by the community through the Police Foundation.

Like police officers, police canines have diverse specialties and serve various units. The “Tails” of K9 series highlights K9 Crimefighters that serve SDPD and our community.