GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Great Barrington Police Department’s new K9 is just 10-weeks-old and is currently in training to become a comfort dog to the community.

According to the Town of Great Barrington, Officer Kris Balestro works with the new K9 named Beko. The chocolate English Labrador Retriever training involves responding to difficult 911 calls that include mental health issues, calls involving children, a natural disaster that brings loss or destruction, and working in the community greeting residents.

Officer Balestro and K9 Beko will also be visiting schools, hospitals, libraries, senior centers, nursing homes and community gatherings.

“People are more likely to approach a friendly dog, which gives us the chance to have a positive and productive dialog with people.”

Officer Balestro

Beko is the first therapy dog in a Berkshire County police station that was donated by breeders Peggi and Dave Brogan of Boonefield Labradors in New Hampshire. This program was proposed and organized by Sgt. Paul Storti with the support of Chief William Walsh, Sgt. Adam Carlotto, Town Manager, Mark Pruhenski and the Selectboard.

Beko is being sworn in to the Great Barrington Police Department on September 25. For more Beko updates, follow him on Instagram @K9BEKOGBPD.