Five Questions with UPD's Roxy

Roxy and UPD Officer Faath attend Convocation festivities to start the 2023 fall semester.
Roxy and UPD Officer Faath attend Move-In Day festivities to start the 2023 fall semester. (Photo by Brian Busher)

By Michael Parker

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 12, 2023) — Roxy, a black Labrador retriever who celebrated her first birthday on Aug. 17, is the newest member of the University Police Department. Her patrol partner is Officer Kenneth Faath. Roxy and Officer Faath are part of UAlbany's Community Response Unit (CRU), comprising police officers who are specially trained and dedicated to assisting individuals experiencing trauma or mental crisis.

Working with Therapy Dogs International, Roxy and Officer Faath will focus their efforts on providing mental health support to students, faculty, staff and broader the University community.

Anyone interested in meeting Roxy can do so through the Request a Visit with Roxy Form.

As with any great partnership, Officer Faath has helped translate Roxy's answers to the questions below.

How did you become a member of the University Police Deptartment?

“I was lucky enough to be the cutest and most intelligent of my pack so Officer Faath picked me. I really enjoy training days. I get unlimited treats when I act lovable. Officer Faath takes me all over the University and I get to meet all sorts of friendly people. Everyone wants to pet me. I have the best job in the world.”

Roxy became a member of the department in May 2023. Roxy's training has consisted of what could be called a mastery of obedience in preparation for her Therapy Dog Certification Test, Canine Good Citizen Test, and Trick Dog Test. We are members of the department’s Community Response Unit, which also allows for further training to assist those individuals who experience crisis.

I understand you are going to be a certified as a therapy dog soon, how does that work?

“You’re right! I will get my certificates at the end of this month. Officer Faath says I just have to do the commands just like he says and I will have no problem. I have been training very hard so I am positive I will do well. I have to do well because the University community needs me. I have a very important job.”

The certification tests will be administered to Roxy and Faath on Sept. 25. The tests include tasks such as refusing human food, and stress environment exposure and commands such as sit, lay down, heel and crawl. To pass, Roxy needs to demonstrate calm composure and elite human/dog interactions skills.

Therapy dogs are beneficial not only in the calming of stress and anxiety, but provide comfort to those experiencing depression, grief, loss, separation issues or  who just may need a friend. Therapy dogs become a part of the community through regularly scheduled campus events, impromptu visits with students, faculty and staff, and at high-profile off-campus community events. In addition, the dogs would also support officers within the police department.

Day in and day out, officers everywhere are exposed to a variety of different traumatic events but are often reluctant to talk about their issues.

What’s your favorite food/snack?

“I go nuts over these little blocks of cold wet stuff. So tasty!! I also like when Officer Faath puts my food on the hot machine. Makes it taste so yummy!”

Roxy loves her dog food which is made with chicken. As a special treat, Roxy loves grilled chicken or dog friendly ice cream. Her quirky favorite treat is ice cubes. My favorite food is pizza from my hometown in Long Island.

What do you think of the new UAlbany Trolley?

“I got to take a ride on the new trolley. It was fun but I wasn’t allowed to put my head out the window. When we stopped, I got all this attention and there were cameras and everything. I was surprised to see everyone came out just to see me.”

The new trolley is really neat. The designer of it did a great job as the inside of it is beautiful. The attention to detail was impressive and I'm sure the students will enjoy comfortable rides on it. It's a really unique idea.

Can I say hello to you next time I see you on campus?

“I would love nothing more than to say hi to everyone in my UAlbany community! More pets the better!”

Roxy gets energized with every new person she meets, Faath said. No caffeine needed! While she is the friendliest dog in the world, please ask me before petting her. This is only to prevent Roxy from being startled by an unforeseen pet.