Capitol police welcomes its newest member: an emotional support dog named Lila

Capitol Police emotional support dog Lila lays down in the Capitol building.
Meet Lila, the Capitol Police’s emotional support dog. US Capitol Police
  • The Capitol Police just introduced the newest member of the force: An emotional support dog named Lila.
  • Lila was brought on in an effort to help Capitol Police officers cope with stress and trauma.
  • She not only provides kisses and cuddles, but also helps to encourage the officers to ask for help when they need it.

The Capitol Police has a new member on the police force: a 3-year-old Labrador named Lila.

Lila started her role as peer support dog in June and officers say she is already making a big impact, according to CNN.

The force brought in Lila on fallen officer Brian Sicknick’s birthday to help ease some of the pain.

“We brought her to roll call for his shift, and it just kind of helps people forget for a little bit,” USCP Officer Caroline Edwards – who suffered a brain injury after the Capitol riots – told CNN.

Lila originally trained to be a seeing-eye dog, but loved squirrels and being in groups with others so much that she found a new mission as an emotional support dog, CNN reported.

She was brought to the team in an effort to provide more emotional support for the officers, not just as a result of the January 6 Capitol riots, but also to help officers cope with the day-to-day stressors of the job.

“Any problems you have, even if it’s for just a few seconds, disappear,” Jeffrey Albanese, a member of the USCP First Responders Unit and an active member in the peer support program told CBS News.

Lila Capitol Police support dog
Lila joined the Capitol police in June. @CapitolPolice on Twitter

Lila works with Leo, a 4-year-old yellow Lab, to not only provide smiles and cuddles but to encourage officers to open up and ask for help when they need it – something some are reluctant to do. They are both a part of a larger effort to provide additional support for Capitol Police officers.

Capitol police hope to share Lila with other departments who are in crisis, too.

“We’ve all had bad days,” Albanese told CNN. “The minute a dog walks into a room, even for a minute, you kind of forget about it.”