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Davis Journal

Pup provides emotional support for Farmington Police Department

Jan 12, 2023 12:17PM ● By Becky Ginos

Snoop was donated by Tremonton breeder Jeffery Poulton. The Bernedoodle is settling in and greets officers when they come back from a call. Photo courtesy of FPD

FARMINGTON—There’s a new officer snooping around the Farmington Police Station. He has a wet nose and is prone to licking anyone’s face who will let him. Snoop is the newest addition to the police force. The Bernedoodle arrived on Christmas Day and has been keeping everyone happy ever since. 

“We hadn’t talked in depth about getting a dog but I’d floated the idea,” said Farmington Police Chief Eric Johnsen. “The records ladies were all for it. I was with the command staff sitting around chit chatting and someone said ‘what do you think about getting a dog like for emotional support?’”

Johnsen said his own children had been wanting to get a dog. “That sped up the process because that conversation was going on at my house.”

He started looking at KSL. But Bernedoodles are an expensive breed,” said Johnsen. “I found one in Tremonton for $600. I decided to take a flier and I texted him (Jeffery Poulton) and told him who I was and asked if he’d be interested in donating a dog.”

Johnsen said he wanted a dog big enough and hearty enough to withstand police department roughhousing. “It also had to be non shedder and hypoallergenic. His dog was perfect.”

It was Christmas Eve morning when they talked so Johnsen didn’t expect to hear back from him. “But I got a call from him saying he was headed to Ogden with his pups and would donate one and let me pick. I wanted Snoop, like Snoopy or Snoop Dog. It was more of a gut instinct.”

On Christmas Day, Johnsen brought him down to the lobby. “Everybody likes him,” he said. “I take him home every night so he can get potty trained. He probably won’t be ready to be at the station full time for four months or so.”

Snoop is very attached to him, said Johnsen. “Officers will play with him but then he sits under my desk. He trots around and goes everywhere I go.” 

The goal is for him to be a positive distraction for the guys, he said. “Who doesn’t like a dog to greet them? We’re adjacent to Woodland Park so we can throw a leash on him and go for a walk. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Johnsen said other chiefs have reached out to him about getting a dog too. “They’ve been considering it but were too nervous to take a leap. Firehouses have dogs but not police departments. Sometimes chiefs of police don’t think outside the box. I’m trying not to be that guy.”

All too often the police are surrounded in negativity, he said. “I want them to be as excited to come to work as I am. I’m encouraging that relationship with Snoop so they’ll be excited to come to the office if it’s only to see Snoop.”