Meet Officer Waffles
The Tewksbury Police Department conducted research and wanted to add a Comfort Dog Program for our schools in 2021. These programs have been proved to be successful in areas such as mental health crisis, trauma, and community policing. TPD is always looking for innovative ways to interact with our community and our Comfort Dog Program has been a huge success in our community policing efforts but also working with kids who have suffered traumatic experiences or crisis. We are very fortunate to have a great partnership with our school district to bring such a program to the community.
Officer Waffles is a male Australian Labradoodle, born on September 26, 2021, in New Boston, NH. Officer Waffles was donated by Monadnock Labradoodles, LLC out of New Boston. Officer Waffles underwent stimulation training as a puppy and was chosen as a good fit for a possible therapy dog, due to his disposition, calm demeanor, and reactive traits.
Chief Columbus & Officer Hanley decided to have a contest, involving the students within the Tewksbury Public Schools System, to decide the dog’s name. A second grader picked the name Waffles, the Chief & Officer Hanley loved it, so it stuck.
Officer Waffles has been employed by the Tewksbury Police Department since 2021. Prior to entering the schools , Officer Waffles attending his trainings at Auntie Dog Training Studio and was enrolled in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program, where he passed the course and was named “Valedogtorian.” Officer Waffles then enrolled in the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program, passed that six-week course, and was named “Valedogtorian” for that course as well.
Officer Waffles continued to train hard, day in and day out, and took his Therapy Dog test (TDI) in October of 2022. Officer Waffles became the 2nd youngest K9 to ever pass the TDI Therapy Dog test, coming out of Auntie Dog Training Studio.
Officer Waffles lives with his handler (Officer Hanley) & his family in Billerica, MA.
Since being assigned to the Tewksbury Public Schools, as a School Therapy Dog, Officer Waffles has made many lasting friendships with the students, staff, and teachers that he meets. Waffles is loved by everyone that knows him and continues to help bridge the gap, by fostering positive relationships with the staff and students that he meets. Waffles offers comfort to all, through his calming presence, by supporting students in all aspects of their emotional wellbeing. Waffles mission is to leave a lasting impression, rather paw print, in each person’s life that he encounters.
Officer Waffles is a member of the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council’s (NEMLEC) School Threat Assessment Response System (STARS Team), on both the Operators Team and the Crisis Response Team.
When asked why he pursued the position of Tewksbury PD Therapy Dog, Officer Waffles said that, if he can provide comfort and support to someone in need, for a moment in time, so that the individual can forget about all their stressors and just enjoy the companionship he offers, then he knows he did his job and that makes him happy. He just wants everyone to love him as much as he loves them, and he wants everyone to be happy… because that makes him happy and gives him the “zoomies.”