Students attending Weymouth’s public schools in person this spring are getting to know a new member of the community: Charlee the dog.
Charlee, a smiley 1½-year-old English Cream Golden Retriever, goes to Weymouth High School with school resource officer Ryan Hamacher as the district’s official community resource dog. Among her duties, she visits classrooms before students take tests to help them relax, sits in on criminology lessons, and walks the halls with Hamacher.
“It’s amazing to see the [students’] dispositions change when they walk up to Charlee,” said Associate Principal Karen Monahan. “You can see the tension just fall off their shoulders.”
Charlee’s main job is building relationships between the police department and the community, Hamacher said. But school officials said Charlee is equally valuable for boosting the spirits of both students and staff.
Charlee — a gift of the Norfolk district attorney’s office to the Weymouth Police Department — also sits with students in lower grades while they read and visits the Weymouth Senior Center, Town Hall, and other public buildings.
The Norfolk district attorney also gave community resource dogs to police departments in Dedham, Needham, and Wrentham. The dogs were trained by Golden Opportunities for Independence in Walpole, which trains service animals.
Johanna Seltz can be reached at email@example.com.