"She makes people smile:" 8-week-old puppy has new job with police department -- but she's NOT a K-9

STERLING, Illinois -- The Sterling Police Department in Illinois has a new program centered around an eight-week-old puppy!

Brinkley isn't your typical police dog.

"Complete opposite of a K-9, a traditional K-9 that you think of," Officer Niki Diehl with the Sterling Police Department said.

Even though she may think she is big and bad, Officer Diehl said once trained, Brinkley will help connect police to the community.

"She will be a dog that you can come up and hug, and that you can interact with a lot," Officer Diehl said.

In addition to hanging out with officers and visiting schools, Brinkley will help crime victims in stressful and traumatic situations.

"Our thoughts are to bring her in and distract from the negative event that just happened. She makes everybody smile, and that is her main purpose. She makes people smile," Officer Diehl said.

Diehl said the police department will eventually become Brinkley's permanent home -- so she can support officers as well.

"There's a lot of stress in our job. We deal with a lot of negative...for the most part, we're dealing with negative situations, so more or less like a comfort dog and she'll be here for us. She'll be, you know, good for morale for us," Diehl said.

Diehl said she believes this program is the first of its kind in the area. She said she's hopeful Brinkley will make a positive impact -- beyond their community.

"I hope our department sets an example, and other people see that it works and we get the phone call that says 'hey, how did this work for you and we're thinking about doing this?' So yeah, we're really hoping it goes over well," Diehl said.