WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The Winter Haven Police Department put out a hand, or a paw in this case, to welcome its newest member to the force. 

Miranda is a 15-month-old yellow Labrador and therapy dog donated by the Mediation and Counseling Consultants in Winter Haven. Miranda's owner, Kathy Leggett, saw the donation as a way to give back after working with the city and police department in different capacities.

The therapy pup will be the first of her kind for the agency as well as law enforcement in Polk County.

"We have seen a growing trend in therapy dogs becoming more popular in the law enforcement realm and the timing was perfect for Miranda to come on board," Public Safety Director and Police Chief Charlie Bird said.

Miranda will work to comfort victims and department members who face tough cases every day. 

Victims of crimes will be able to come to Miranda as a "calming diversion to help relax and divert some of the pain," the police department wrote in a statement.  

"The Department is committed to the emotional well-being of its members and Miranda is just one tool now being used to help officers deal with difficult scenarios," the department said.

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