The United States Capitol Police announced the newest addition to their force, but this one has four legs.
The police force tweeted on Wednesday that they would be adding a full-time emotional support dog, the first time the department has done so. The dog is a 2-year-old black Labrador retriever named Lila. Even though her announcement came Wednesday, her first day on the job won’t be until July 5.
“We are thrilled to welcome the newest member of our Department,” the Capitol Police tweeted along with photos of Lila. Twitter users sent messages of praise and welcomed the newest police officer, as well as photos of their own support dogs.
Lila’s job announcement comes over six months after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that where more than 100 officers were injured. A medical examiner ruled that officer Brian Sicknick, who was attacked during the insurrection, died of strokes the day after.
The loss of officers did not end there; Capitol Police Officer Howie Liebengood and D.C. Officer Jeffrey Smith died by suicide in the days after the attack, and Capitol Police Officer Billy Evans was killed when a car rammed a security barricade on April 2.
The events have resulted in low officer morale. Officers have reported feeling post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression and fear since the Jan. 6 attack, as well as feelings that lawmakers aren’t giving enough support and protection. A union leader said in May that over 70 officers have left the department in the past six months.
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza.