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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Newest furry member of MUPD looks to join force

Photo by Isabel Bonebrake
Blue is currently working towards receiving his police dog badge.

As fall approaches and warm weather quickly becomes a thing of the past, there’s no need to feel blue when Marquette University’s newest furry friend is walking around campus.

Blue, Marquette University Police Department’s new community support dog made his debut on campus when his Instagram account posted about his arrival May 19.

Since then, Blue’s presence on campus has garnered attention from both students and faculty.

MUPD Lieutenant James Hensley takes care of the seven-month-old German shorthair and initially suggested the idea of adding Blue to the team as a way for officers to relieve stress.

“I really wanted him to be almost like a little bit of an ambassador for the department. So they don’t see us as a bunch of badges and uniforms,” Hensley said.

This idea grew as Blue began to interact with campus and explore his surroundings. Blue’s role on campus now involves providing comfort to MUPD officers, students, staff and faculty.

Research from Johns Hopkins Medicine shows that petting a dog lowers stress levels and can increase the feel-good hormone oxytocin.

The story behind Blue’s name came as a result of a department-wide survey. There were six potential name ideas for him but ultimately Blue won. With gold and blue being the official colors of Marquette, it made sense, Hensley said, to suggest that name.

Many students have come to know his name around campus and often stop to say hi to Blue during his walks. Hensley said that a typical walk across campus may take him double the amount of time, as students ask to pet Blue, many times coming back twice in one day.

“I was really excited that Blue was gonna be on campus. I love animals, so having an animal on campus that I can go see every once in a while was nice,” Isabelle Holmes, first-year in the College of Business Administration, said.

Since his arrival on campus, he has been spotted at O-Fest, Coffee with a Cop, Al’s Run and even riding the LIMO with students.

“Blue is a good boy and Marquette University was excited to welcome him to campus at the end of the spring semester to serve as a community outreach dog with Marquette University Police Department. MUPD has had notable success with the implementation of a community outreach dog in building a relationship between MUPD and the campus community in the past,” Kevin Conway, university spokesperson, said in a statement. 

Contrary to popular belief, Blue is not a trained drug or bombsniffing dog, however, he is currently working towards receiving his police dog badge.

“He’s in the middle of his second class and once he’s finished with that we’re going to actually have a swearing-in ceremony just like with our police officers and he’ll get his badge at that time,” Hensley said.

Blue has more training in his future as Hensley plans to get him certified as a therapy dog once he is eligible to enter the training program after he has his first birthday.

Therapy dog training involves advanced manners classes where dogs will accomplish skills such as attentive listening and being okay with others touching them all the time.

Blue is not Marquette University’s first community outreach dog. Nattie, Blue’s predecessor, worked for MUPD for two years before retiring in April 2020.

Although there’s a new dog in town, the same sentiment still rings true: Students love to see a familiar furry face on campus.

“His big skill set is just bringing happiness to people. I joke about that I have the best job on campus, because not only do I get to walk around with him on campus, but people see him and they start calling his name,” Hensley says.

This story was written by Isabel Bonebrake. She can be reached at [email protected]

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