Soft definition of crime! A California police station is recruiting a pet pet to be its “wellness officer” — so cops can pet it when they’re feeling stressed
A pet rabbit who joined the California police force last year has been given the official title of “Wellness Officer.”
The missing rabbit on Percy Street was discovered by Officer Ashley Carson during a call in October in Yuba City, Sutter County.
The “docile and friendly” animal was adopted by the police force and named Percy after where it was found.
Percy stays at the police station for the officers as “everyone’s support animal”, with the officers encouraged to pet him when pressured.
The station’s newly promoted wellness officer, Percy, even wore his blue work jacket
Yuba City Police Officer Ashley Carson rescued the rabbit in 2022 in Yuba City, Arizona
Violent crime rates in California increased six percent, from 440 per 100,000 residents in 2020 to 466 in 2021
Percy roams freely around the office and has his own pen with litter box and toys, including a tunnel.
Yuba City Police Department – about 40 miles (64.37 kilometers) north of Sacramento – Announce the promotion of the bunny to the rank of “sanitary officer” a few days before Easter.
Lt. Michel Brazil he told the BBC: “Being able to hold him, pet him and step back from the situation for a minute to regroup is vital.”
“We’re already seeing long-term benefits from it, even in just a short period of time.”
“The idea came as a bit of a joke and it really caught on,” said Chelsea McCready, a police services analyst for the station.
Percy also attended community events with the department, including schools where he was very successful.
After he was found abandoned at 2 am, he was taken to an animal shelter, but after weeks no family had come forward to pick him up.
It has to do with violent crime rates in California by six percentfrom 440 per 100,000 residents in 2020 to 466 in 2021.
Aggravated assaults also jumped nine percent, and murders and rape increased nearly eight percent each.
In Yuba City, the crime rate increased by 5 percent from 2019 to 2020.
While California is controlled by Democrats, Sutter County is firmly Republican.
Last year, researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland found that cuddling with furry friends engages the part of the brain responsible for social and emotional interactions.
They compared brain scans of study participants while they were holding a dog and a cuddly toy.
They found that seeing, feeling, and touching a dog engages a part of the brain that regulates and processes social or emotional reactions—known as the prefrontal cortex—in a way that petting a beloved toy does not.
The team concluded that involving animals in therapeutic interventions may be a promising approach for improving engagement and emotional alertness.
It is known that interaction with animals helps people deal with stress and depression.