Community Reinvestment

Community Bank Supports Comfort Dog Program

First Of Its Kind Program In Vermont

Keith Griffin

June 8, 2020

Community Bank manager with comfort dog Duke | Courtesy photo

Community Bank has made a $7,500 donation to the Williston, Vermont Police Department in support of its Comfort K9 program. Comfort dogs provide thoughtful interactions during investigations to reduce anxiety and increase communication between the adult or child victim/witness and investigators.

According to a Vermont Business Magazine report, the comfort dog program is the first of its kind in Vermont. K9 Duke was born in March and officially joined the Williston Police Department in the beginning of May.

The dogs offer comfort to people during times of crisis and provide aid and relief to those impacted by violence or tragic events. The program is a valuable tool in fostering dialogue and connections between police and the communities they serve.

“We are thrilled that our donation will help support a new program that will greatly benefit the Williston Police Department and the community of Williston,” Community Bank Regional Manager Anita Bourgeois said. “We are committed to supporting our Williston friends and neighbors and look forward to seeing the many benefits the Comfort K9 program will bring to our community — the program is very deserving of the support.”

“Having a strong partnership within the community is appreciated and welcome, and I commend Community Bank in stepping forward and supporting our initiative in bringing what we believe is an essential program to the community of Williston and the Williston Police Department,” Williston Police Chief Patrick T. Foley said.

Community Bank System Inc. operates more than 250 customer facilities (including branches and ATM locations) across Upstate New York, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Vermont and Western Massachusetts through its banking subsidiary, Community Bank N.A. and has been serving its communities for more than 150 years. With approximately $11.4 billion in assets, the DeWitt, New York-headquartered company is among the country’s 125 largest financial institutions.

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