SPS’s Kanak will play special role
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.