The Marquette University Police Department swore in its two newest members Friday morning, Officer Carolina Seidl and her foster dog, Nattie.
Seidl has worked at MUPD as an administrative assistant, but will begin training at the police academy Monday. “I’m very excited to get started with my training,” Seidl said.
Before working as an administrative assistant for MUPD, Seidl worked at the humane society and has continued to be deeply interested and involved in helping animals.
Seidl was fostering Nattie from the humane society where the dog completed training in the People and Animals Learning program. Nattie’s completion of that training is where Seidl, along with MUPD Captain Jeff Kranz and Chief Paul Mascari, got the idea to bring Nattie on as a community outreach dog.
PAL is a program developed by the Wisconsin Humane Society to help increase self-esteem and social skills in children to decrease their likelihood of becoming involved in violence. “Nattie helps teach kids important skills like conflict resolution and helps them raise their self-esteem,” Seidl said. “She also was then prepared to have an adoptive family and would be very comfortable with small children.”
Because of her special training, Nattie will serve the department in a community outreach role, which Mascari said includes comforting crime victims. “Having her there is good for people — she can help make a bad situation just a little bit easier,” Mascari said. Nattie is not trained in any law enforcement or drug detection functions, and the department does not plan to use her for either of those.
Nattie was originally a rescue dog from Oklahoma and is estimated to be almost a year and a half old. Seidl said the humane society thinks she may be a terrier and shepherd mix, but they aren’t totally sure.
Sergeant Andrew Wellman has been working closely with Nattie since she first came to the department and said opportunities like this swearing in ceremony are good practice for MUPD’s newest puppy.
“We’ll continue to socialize her and bring her out once the students are here,” said Wellman. “Nattie will continue to go through more training as an outreach dog as well.”
President Michael Lovell was in attendance at Nattie’s official swearing in ceremony, where Nattie pledged her support to MUPD and to honor the constitution by placing her paw print on her oath of office.
Mascari said the department is excited to have Nattie. “She isn’t just good at community outreach — she’s there for our officers too, and they love it,” said Mascari. “Nattie comes to greet officers when they walk in the door for work.”
Nattie will be residing full-time at MUPD headquarters and will be cared for by MUPD officers.