Amesbury police officer Jason Kooken has years of experience caring for aquariums. Dave Rogers/Staff photographer

With all of the recent controversy surrounding the aquarium hobby it’s nice to see someone that understands some of the benefits of keeping aquatic pets. Police officer Jason Kooken, a member of the Amesbury Police Department in Mass, has set up a 29 gallon nano tank in the interview room that is used for interviewing small children involved in domestic abuse or other home related issues.

Kooken previously set up a larger aquarium inside the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center in Amesbury in 2005.

“Anything we can do to calm them down is huge,” Kooken said. “They get pretty excited about it. At least, it’s something else that’s going to help.”

The original idea came from Amesbury police Chief Mark Gagnon who has seen many children with their parents being interviewed under stressful conditions.

“The poor kids are sitting there listening to these stories,” Gagnon said.

Kooken was previously employed by an aquarium maintenance company so Gagnon tapped him as a resource and the tank was up and running in no time.

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