Facility dog joins the Seal Beach Police Department

Yosa will help crime victims, witnesses


Motivation and support comes in many forms, including a cold nose and a warm heart. The Seal Beach Police Department welcomed its newest staff member, Yosa, a facility dog provided by Canine Companions for Independence. Police facility dog Yosa will assist her handler, Lt Nick Nicholas, during his work with victims, witnesses, and community members exposed to traumatic events.

“A police facility dog is not the same as a patrol apprehension/detection dog,” wrote Lt. Nicholas in an email. Lt. Nicholas is the public information officer and operations lieutenant for the SBPD, in addition to being Yosa’s handler.

“We are in the process of acquiring and training the patrol dog,” Lt. Nicholas wrote.

Since 1975, Canine Companions® has bred, raised, and expertly trained service dogs in over 40 commands designed to assist and motivate clients with special needs. Yosa, a 2-year-old Labrador / golden retriever mix, has been selected to work for the Seal Beach Police Department because of her unobtrusive and calm demeanor necessary in a criminal justice setting.

The Seal Beach Police Department will use Yosa to:

• aid in the investigation of crimes,

• provide comfort to victims and witnesses during interviews and court proceedings,

• help victims process grief and loss,

• lower tension and stress of community members and staff after traumatic events,

• work with children to build relationships,

• conduct senior citizen visits and welfare checks,

• engage with the public during community events,

For nearly 46 years, Canine Companions has been enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by training and placing more than 6,700 service dogs with program graduates, including more than 230 dogs with military veterans and more than 2,000 dogs with children. The estimated cost of a highly trained Canine Companions facility dog like Yosa, and all follow up support, is $50,000, however each facility dog is provided at no cost. Canine Companions depends on the support of tens of thousands of donors and volunteers to match facilities and people in need with a service dog like Yosa entirely free of charge.

“We are so grateful to Canine Companions for providing Yosa to the Seal Beach Police Department,” said Chief of Police Philip L. Gonshak. “Yosa is an incredible addition to our Seal Beach family. Her training and personality are perfect for providing comfort to those exposed to trauma and helping to ease the stress that victims and witnesses feel during criminal investigations.”

Facility dog joins the Seal Beach Police Department