The Turpin children had a police dog in front of their parents in court. He comforted them for months.



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The dog, Raider, has met siblings since the arrest of their parents at the beginning of last year and their life was turned upside down. One of 13 children – ages 2 to 29 – managed to escape their dirty home in Perris, California, and called the police. The authorities stated that the brothers and sisters were isolated from the outside world and often had no showers, medical care or food.

The Turpin children were able to play with Raider several times while they were sailing in courthouses, attorney offices and other legal frameworks over the past year.

"When we see him make a man smile or even touch him, we know he's moving emotions that a human might not be able to do," said the police sergeant in Corona. Adam Roulston, one of Raider's handlers.

Labrador, 3 years old, is an installation dog from the Corona Police Department. Unlike other police dogs, he is very well trained to provide company without disrupting the work environment.

He is the first dog of Canine Companions for Independence, an organization that breeds assistance dogs, to join the Corona Police.

During his service, Raider wears a blue vest as well as a police badge around his neck.
Roulston said one of Turpin's children had asked the authorities to allow Raider to be with them on Friday during their parents' sentencing hearing in the County Superior Court. Riverside. They took turns caressing him and he stood motionless beside them when two of them testified to the suffering they had suffered at the hands of their parents.

Raider has already helped the Turpin brothers and sisters and other victims reduce their anxiety and comfort them. He played with them, patted them and showed them how he could draw from a playing card game, Roulston said.

Roulston and police dispatcher Erin Lennox have been Raider's controllers since 2017. They have balanced their enforcement duties with Labrador's many commitments, including court appearances, visits in the hospital and assistance to witnesses of a crime.

"Seeing his way of doing things and making people feel better is the best reward of all time," Roulston said. "Public safety officers and staff want to help people and Raider is a tool that helps us do it."

Raider is one of the few police dogs settled in California and is part of the growing trend to have assistance animals in the country's courtrooms. A California law signed in 2017 allows trained therapy dogs to accompany witnesses in their testimony.

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