SPS’s Kanak will play spe­cial role

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS -

The Sher­brooke Po­lice Ser­vice has a new re­cruit, but he won’t be wear­ing a gun. Kanak is a ‘sup­port’ dog whose job is to com­fort young vic­tims of phys­i­cal or sex­ual abuse – a first for a Que­bec po­lice de­part­ment.

The ar­rival of Kanak, a handsome, one and a half year-old Black Labrador, comes af­ter a long process which was ini­ti­ated by de­tec­tive Me­lanie Bedard. “For more than twenty-five years, Amer­i­can po­lice de­part­ments have used dogs for ac­com­pa­ni­ment, com­fort and sup­port of young vic­tims of phys­i­cal and sex­ual abuse, es­pe­cially when they have to go to court. This prac­tise helps the vic­tims stay calm and makes go­ing to court much eas­ier,” com­mented of­fi­cer Bedard who han­dles the dog along with two of her col­leagues.

In the United States, more than seventy dogs have been trained to ac­com­pany vic­tims when they must go to court to tes­tify, while in Canada there are only thir­teen. Sup­port dogs can be used in all steps of a court process: im­me­di­ately af­ter a trau­matic event; dur­ing an in­ter­view with an in­ves­ti­ga­tor; dur­ing the meet­ing with the Crown Prose­cu­tor; and dur­ing the pro­ceed­ings in court.

Kanak will also take part in pub­lic re­la­tions and com­mu­nity events, vis­it­ing schools, care fa­cil­i­ties, spe­cial events, fes­ti­vals, blood drives and more.

Kanak, a ‘sup­port’ dog for young vic­tims of phys­i­cal or sex­ual abuse, is the Sher­brooke Po­lice Ser­vice’s new re­cruit.

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