Introducing the newest member of Cleveland police: Meet Apollo

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 4:50 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - For the first time ever, the Cleveland Police Department has an emotional support dog.

Cleveland Police Detective Chris Porter spent months researching how the department could get an emotional support dog. He presented the idea to the department, and they went for it.

With the help of the Cleveland Police Foundation the department welcomed a new addition to their family, an adorable yellow lab, Apollo.

“I really thought it was something that would help the officers,” said Porter. As we did our research we found that veterans affairs has been wildly successful with soldiers dealing with post-traumatic stress. And using therapy dogs and emotional support dogs.”

“We always say you know you have to be careful about officers because it’s not always the first time you see something terrible it’s the 100th it’s the 200th you see something terrible and it keeps accumulating on them.”

Dispatchers will call Porter and Apollo out to some of the most heartbreaking scenes including child murder investigations and officer-involved shootings. There, Apollo will comfort the officers.

“I know he’s going to make a positive impact on those scenes already,” said Porter.

Porter has taken the proud title of Apollo’s handler, who is under his care 24/7.

Apollo lives at Porter’s house with his other two dogs who have embraced Apollo into the family.

“Feels amazing. I say all the time that I have the best job in the Cleveland Division of Police. I get to spend my days with my partner who is a wonderful yellow lab, said Porter. He brings happiness to everyone. I’m around him all the time so how can I not be happy.”

Apollo will become a certified emotional support dog this November.