The Berea Police Department is growing by four small paws.
On Saturday, Sept. 11, the Berea Police Department introduced their newest team member — a nameless golden retriever pup — to the community via the department's Facebook page.
The department is enlisting the help of the community to name their newest comrade.
“Today, we picked up our newest team member and he needs a name. With a lot of donations and community help, we are thrilled to announce our (first) ever community service dog for Berea,” the post read.
According to the post, this dog will work with kids in local schools as a therapy dog and be a resource for BPD officers to assist Zinnia Hensley, community resource officer, when dealing with victims of crimes.
The police canine will also work to assist BPD officers with their mental health and wellbeing.
Ofc. Michael Rothermel, a hometown Berea native, was chosen to be the dog's handler.
“Rothermel is very skilled with K9s and looks forward to working with all of Berea in utilizing our newest member for the betterment of Bereans,” a post from BPD noted.
The post asked community members to suggest several names for the new canine. Those suggestions will be narrowed down this week to three names.
After that, the department will give citizens a chance to vote for their favorite name.
Once the votes are tallied, the department will get his collar and badge ready for him to be sworn in.
As of Monday morning, the post had received nearly 450 responses suggesting names for the new member.
Of those, Chase (like the dog from children’s show Paw Patrol) is a strong contender. However, other names specific to Berea have been shared. Some examples include Arty after the Artisan Center, or Pin, short for Pinnacles. Boone was also suggested heavily in reference to Daniel Boone.
The purchase of the new Berea canine was done in partnership through donations from businesses as well as the community including Berea Walmart, Richmond Veterinary Clinic (Dr. Putnam), Bruer Farms Doodles, The Berea Police Association and the citizens of Berea.