Comfort Canine Officer Jet Sworn in as Lewis University Police Department
Published: June 20, 2023.
Lewis University welcomed its newest member of the Lewis University Police Department with the official swearing-in ceremony of Canine Officer Jet, with Sgt. Lyle Nettles as his dedicated handler. The June 20 ceremony was historic for Lewis University as Jet is the first LUPD canine, who will take on the role of being an emotional support animal on campus.
Canine Officer Jet, born at Welch Family Goldens in Colchester, Ill., has been trained by K9 Guardians in Lockport to play a crucial role in supporting the emotional well-being of Lewis University students, faculty, and staff while interacting with LUPD. The 3-month-old golden retriever will provide comfort and companionship to those in need, fostering a safe and inclusive environment for everyone.
Sgt. Nettles, an experienced and dedicated member of the Lewis University Police Department, has been assigned as Jet's handler. Sgt. Nettles will ensure Jet's well-being, continued training, and effective integration into campus life while continuing to serve as a shift supervisor on the afternoon team.
This new addition to LUPD was made possible through the generous support of the Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow. Recognizing the positive impact that animals can have on mental health and emotional well-being, the State's Attorney's office provided the necessary funds to acquire and train Jet in addition to upfitting an existing LUPD squad car to be used as the canine vehicle.
“In 2012, I created the Paw for Kids program at our Children’s Advocacy Center with two loving Labrador Retrievers, Jackson and Mally. My love for dogs led to the creation of the League of Extraordinary Canines & Friends, a countywide initiative that recognizes the unique attributes of our canine companions. They deserve our love and protection, and the special bond between canines and humans unlocks compassion and empathy in the human condition,” Glasgow said.
“Jet, aptly named in light of Lewis University’s famous aviation program, is the 14th canine I have been able to provide to local governments and schools by using money seized from money launderers and drug dealers. This is the ultimate irony – using ill-gotten gains for the public good.”
Lewis University President David Livingston, who presided over the swearing-in ceremony, expressed gratitude to the Will County State's Attorney for his support, stating, "We are honored to welcome Canine Officer Jet to the Lewis University community. As an emotional support animal, Jet will provide comfort and support to those who may be facing challenging times, and Sgt. Nettles will ensure Jet's well-being and seamless integration into our campus."
As Jet begins his duties, Lewis University remains committed to ensuring his proper care and ongoing training under the guidance of Sgt. Nettles. Additionally, the university will collaborate with various campus departments and organizations to develop initiatives that raise awareness about mental health and create a supportive atmosphere for all.
LUPD Chief Mike Zegadlo expressed optimism regarding the impact of Canine Officer Jet, "Fundamental to our approach to policing on a university campus is supporting students on their personal and educational journeys. This means meeting students at difficult moments on their journeys and helping them find a way to get back on track. Jet will be a great new way for our team to provide that support in an impactful and compassionate way!”
Lewis University is an innovative Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, and globally-connected graduates who impact the world for the better. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.
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