The University of Oregon Police Department is about to get cuter.
UO Chief of Police Matt Carmichael announced at the Board of Trustees meeting on March 1 that UOPD will be getting a bomb detection dog to promote events and campus security and to improve student-officer relations.
According to Carmichael, the dog, a black Lab mix named Onyx, is finishing training in Sacramento and will be coming to Eugene in the coming weeks.
A UOPD officer has been selected as Onyx’s handler and has been training with the dog in Sacramento.
UOPD is partnering with UO Intercollegiate Athletics, UO student government and federal law enforcement to train and deploy the dog. The program is receiving its funding through its partnership with the UO Intercollegiate Athletics.
The dog will be used primarily for event safety; however, Chief Carmichael said he hopes the dog will make officers seem more approachable to students.
Chief Carmichael piloted a monthly “Pizza Night with the Chief” over the 2016-17 school year to engage with students and hear about their safety concerns.
Carmichael said he hopes having a dog present at these events will attract more students to come and engage with the officers.