A nose for crime

Hilani licks the tears away


Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

By Josh Fletcher, News Editor

If you have not seen the friendly golden lab around campus already, her name is Hilani and she is the campus K-9 facility officer. She joined the EWU Police Department as a comfort animal for victims in need, specifically those who have suffered sexual assault.

The handler of the dog is Tiffinni Archie, patrol officer. Archie has been working with Hilani for about a year and a half since they went through training together in August 2016.

“Archie was matched with Hilani through Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit organization that provides highly trained service dogs. Then, Hilani and Archie completed a two-week training course in Santa Rosa, California-where Archie learned commands and the trainers ensured that the match was the right fit,” an Eastern 24/7 article said on the pair.

Hilani was born in a service dog facility and had basic training for a puppy. At 18 months, she learned to be a service dog. Archie said that Chief Tim Walter had gathered information about the Facility Dog program when choosing a police caretaker for Hilani, and Archie had checked off his boxes for the right handler.

Photo courtesy of the EWU Police Department

Archie is Hilani’s mother and handler. They not only work together, but are together all the time. Archie feeds, bathes and houses her.

Hilani is serious at work when she helps with victims of trauma. According to Archie, when the vest is on, Hilani is all business; she understands that it is work time, not play time. They are partners and when they are not together, they miss each other.

“Hilani and I are inseparable,” said Archie. “She is my partner and when I work on days without her I always look for her and I feel ‘off’ without her and vice versa. She’s not happy at all when she’s left at home during our off days and she thinks I’m going to work. She’s a ‘momma’s girl.’ When it comes to working she is serious about working and will do any command I need her to perform and does it well.”

Hilani is loving and playful, but police work can be very stressful for dogs. They are constantly being put into high stress conditions, so Archie makes sure to give her lots of love and make her happy at home and work.

Hilani is great at her job as she offers lots of love and a calm, comforting environment for everyone. She has also assisted the detective on special cases, officers during victim interviews, judges during court, and the chief during presentations. She is an all-around helpful and calming presence to be around.

If you see Hilani and her companion Officer Archie around campus, just remember to ask before petting her.