Roma officers embarks on new morale-boosting initiative
IN AN inspired move at Roma Police Station, Officer in Charge Senior Sergeant Frank has introduced a trial initiative to improve staff morale and productivity: Labrador Wednesdays.
This involves members of staff, on a carefully rostered basis, taking turns to bring Labrador puppies to the office, who quietly spend a few hours in the station.
Those staff members who are on duty benefit from the company of the dog, with the aim of reducing stress and boost morale.
Last Wednesday, October 21 saw the first day of the initiative, with chocolate Labrador Happy, owned by Constable Guy Phillips as the first puppy to be rostered on.
Senior Sergeant Frank said the inspiration for the day came from neighbouring Miles Police Station, who recently had a snake visit their office.
“It was clear to see the happiness on the faces of the officers in the photos, bought about by having an animal around,” Senior Sergeant Frank said.
“It occurred to me that if a snake can make people that happy, what would a Labrador puppy achieve?
“Luckily there was a recent litter had by the dogs of two of my officers, and 80 per cent of the puppies were homed by Roma officers, so our wider police family now includes five puppies – so it won’t be hard to find dogs for this initiative.”
A comprehensive survey of staff members at the end of the day revealed that the initiative was successful.
One officer, Sergeant Shane Ferry said it was a great idea.
“One thing I love is locking up crooks, but if there was a second place, it would be the unconditional affection you get from a dog,” Sergeant Ferry said.
Admin Officer Tanya Nel also had positive thoughts on the initiative.
“I am very excited by this initiative,” Tanya said.
“I think that having Harry and his brothers and sisters around once a week will be a really good thing – having a puppy in the office to pat and make a fuss of brightens the day.”
First year Constable Nick Barton was equally enthused.
“Having Harry here made my day,” Constable Barton said.
“I am looking forward to being on duty on future Wednesdays and meeting his siblings.
“Police work, while very rewarding, is often dealing with negative situations.
“Having a dog in the office is a nice positive that can brighten the mood.”