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APD and PNM introduce new comfort dog Graham

Graham is a crisis response dog that assists victims of violent crimes and the detectives who investigate them.

March 23, 2021

Today APD Chief of Police Harold Medina along with Mayor Tim Keller and PNM Resources Chairman, President and CEO of PNM Pat Vincent-Collawn, introduced the newest member of APD, Graham, a comfort dog.

Graham is a two-and-a-half year-old black Labrador Retriever and was trained by Assistance Dogs of the West. Graham was trained as a Crisis Response Canine, receiving 1,500 hours of training to work with professionals in the judicial system providing resources to special victim services.

“We are excited to welcome Graham to the APD family,” said APD Chief Harold Medina. “Graham will play an important role in support of victims during extremely challenging and emotional investigations. Victims often speak with officers and detectives they’ve never met before, during a crisis. With Graham’s presence, he will make them feel as comfortable as possible during those vulnerable moments.”

Graham was donated to APD by PNM in December 2020 to serve the citizens of Albuquerque. The hope is that Graham will help to build strong relationships within the community and bring joy to everyone around him.

“We appreciate first responders and everything they do for our community,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM Resources Chairman, President and CEO. “Sponsoring a comfort dog like Graham is one small way PNM can help the community while simultaneously providing relief and support to the men and women who serve the public.”

Graham works directly out of the Family Advocacy center with his handler Sgt. Amanda Wild. Having to deal with such emotionally charged crimes, deeply personal crimes, it can be hard for victims to speak with officers and detectives they don’t know. Graham brings a level of comfort and can help victims feel safe during extremely vulnerable times.

Not only does Graham provide emotional support for victims of violent crimes but also for the detectives and investigators who investigate those crimes.

Graham’s handler, Sgt. Wild, began her career with APD as a field officer. From 2013-2016, she became a detective with the Sex Crimes Unit. She has been the sergeant over the Sex Crimes Unit for the last three years.
Sgt. Wild received Graham in late 2020 and due to Covid he has not yet worked with any victims of violent crimes but he’s been an incredible support for the investigators.

“The other side of coin of fighting crime is supporting those who are impacted by it, “said Mayor Tim Keller. “I’m grateful for this partnership that makes a comfort dog available to victims going through what may be their darkest days. We would never want anyone, especially a child, to feel alone during a traumatic time and a small comfort like this, could be the difference.”