Brian Corbin: Moves With Jagger
For the past year, the most popular duo walking down the hallway in The Morgan School has been Student Resource Officer (SRO) Brian Corbin and his partner, Jagger, the therapy dog.
“When they see Jagger, they just smile,” Brian says.
Brian and Jagger were first paired up back in September 2022, and since then, the duo have become quite popular wherever they go.
Jagger is a German shepherd that was rescued by the state police. He was housed at Clinton’s pound and eventually adopted by Clinton’s K-9 officer Corporal Jason Frey.
Jagger’s training started out to turn the shepherd into a patrol dog, but there was just one problem.
“It turns out he was too nice,” Brian laughs and quickly adds, “Which is a good thing.”
Instead of becoming a patrol dog, Jagger was given to Brian to be turned into a therapy dog. Brian explains that just like bonding with a human, he and Jagger needed to go through a bonding process so they understood each other. This was particularly important since Jagger was a rescue.
“We had to build trust in each other and build a rapport. I take him everywhere, even if I’m not on duty, just to build his confidence and trust,” Brian says.
Brian says that Jagger has four main uses: officer wellness, peer support, community service initiatives, and victim support.
“Jagger really is helpful in those situations, and he’s very calm. I joke, but he really is just a big sweetheart,” Brian says.
In fact, Brian says that Jagger has made his job as an SRO easier over the last year because kids just want to meet the canine.
“He’s made the job bridging the gap between students and me easier. He’s a therapy dog that’s very calm, and petting him is not only welcome, it’s encouraged,” Brian says.
Brian grew up in Clinton and graduated from The Morgan School in 2006. He’s been a police officer in Clinton since 2014.
“I always wanted to be a police officer. My father worked at a desk job at Unilever, but that wasn’t for me. I needed my office to be mobile,” Brian jokes.
Brian has been the SRO for the past three years. “My first year was 2020, and it was a weird year,” Brian recalls, referring to the changes the pandemic forced on the school system. “It’s been eye-opening ever since.”
Brian applied to be the SRO out of his fondness for working with kids.
“It’s something I always enjoyed. You build a rapport with them, and I like dealing with the youth,” he says. Prior to being the SRO, Brian was also a DARE officer.
“It’s a lot of interacting with all our students, making sure kids are doing ok; if they want to talk to me about what’s going on at home; if they just want to say hi. It’s a way to maintain a relationship between the kids and the police department,” Brian says.
Asked about his favorite part of being an SRO, Brian says, “Being the SRO has been really rewarding, especially seeing the classes progressing.” He’s also enjoyed seeing how the kids have taken to Jagger and the effect he’s had on them.
For example, Brian says that there have been occasions where students will approach him to say they’re afraid of dogs, but they want to try and pet Jagger. And that appreciation goes both ways.
“I’m forever in debt to the students. Being around them has really helped get his confidence up,” he says.
Of course, working with kids can be challenging at times, especially when problems arise.
“When you deal with juveniles, sometimes it’s tough. Unfortunately, we see things that kids can be exposed to or how their home life is. It’s just a little different when the victim of something is a young kid versus an adult,” Brian says.
As for the future, Brian says that right now, he’s working on getting a special car for Jagger so that the pair can do more community events together.
While many benefit from Jagger’s calming presence and are grateful for the help, Brian says the department would gratefully accept donations toward the care of Jagger.
“Jagger and I are funded solely through private donations. We have expenses such as food, training, certification, [and] equipment,” Brian explains.
Interested parties can send donations to the Clinton Police Department with a note specifying “for K-9 Jagger” or “therapy dog.”
When he’s not working, Brian says that he likes to spend time traveling and camping with his family.
“We’re a big camping family, and we want to hit every national park. And so far, Jagger has been to three,” Brian adds with a chuckle.
Another passion when he isn’t working is watching soccer.
“Me and a few other cops actually coach a team. It’s been a big passion of mine,” Brian says.
Brian admits it can be a little strange being a police officer in his hometown, but he also says his favorite part of Clinton is the support the community shows him and his fellow officers.
“When it comes to law enforcement, the men and women of this department know they work in a community that supports them. It’s nice knowing the town does support them, and we earned that trust,” Brian says.