PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Singing River Health Systems is now the first hospital in Mississippi to have a canine officer on its security team.
Jester is trained in the scent detection of explosive devices and patrol duties. Jackson County Court Judge Mark Watts swore in the newest addition to the force and a very unique thing happened. When Jester was asked to say “I do,” he responded with a single bark.
Officials with the health system said that his duties serve multiple purposes.
“He’s trained and skilled as a police canine so, on command, Jester can respond to fulfill the needs of whatever his handler needs him to respond to as a police canine," said Randy Sanders, Police Chief of Singing River Health Systems.
In addition to his police duties, Jester’s social temperament allows him to fill a motivational and supportive need with patients and staff alike.
“He’s very welcomed here," said Jester’s handler Officer Thomas Spicer. “I would have never thought that just an animal showing up would cause that much of a difference in a work environment, but he has. I’m no longer relevant. Jester’s the main man, and I’m okay with that.”
Even though Jester will help out in the community whenever possible, his responsibilities will be shared between Singing River Health Systems’ two hospital campuses in Pascagoula and Ocean Springs.