ROCK FALLS, Ill. — The Rock Falls Police Department recently added a new member to its force. The new officer is furry, walks on all fours, and enjoys watching squirrels through the window.

Lacey, a 2-year-old year old Labrador mix, became the police department’s live-in comfort dog Sept. 1.

Police Chief Tammy Nelson said the department had been working with Happy Tails Humane Society for about a year and a half to make sure they found the right dog for the job.

“We looked at many, many dogs,” she said. “We needed to find a dog that wasn’t aggressive looking, that didn’t bark or act aggressive in any way, (a dog) that children wouldn’t be intimidated by, because she does wander the building.”

Lacey lives at the department 24/7. Officers take turns feeding her, taking her out to the bathroom and taking her on walks.

“She’s adjusting really well,” Nelson said. “Someone comes in upset and crying, she immediately is attached to them giving kisses and hugs. She’s such a sweet dog.”

Lacey’s job, other than getting spoiled by the department, is to relieve stress during tense or upsetting situations.

Recently, a family came into the department to be informed of a death.

“I left the room for a second, and when I came back, Lacey was curled up on the person’s lap,” Nelson said.

Lacey has done her part to help bring the community and the department a little closer. Nelson said “tons” of people have stopped into the department just to say hi to her.

Dave Suarez, Happy Tails’ board president, said he was thrilled to work with the department.

He said Happy Tails is an organization focused on not only helping pets find new homes, but helping the community as well.

“We’re a big backer of the police and fire departments, and we’re happy to see them adopt a pet from us,” Suarez said.

According to Suarez, Lacey was in a kill shelter in Indiana before she found her way to Happy Tails.

“She is extremely spoiled, but she deserves it,” Nelson said. “She had a hard life before this, so we’re going to spoil her for the rest of her days.”

She also added that Happy Tails is sponsoring Lacey, which means the department doesn’t have to pay for any of Lacey’s needs. Happy Tails covers it all.

“Happy Tails has been wonderful for us,” Nelson said.

Source: Sauk Valley Media,

Information from: Dixon Telegraph,

This is an AP-Illinois Exchange story offered by Sauk Valley Media.