Saanich Police’s newest recruit is a whole lot fuzzier than the rest of the officers.
Their new operational stress intervention dog is a 2-year-old black lab named Beacon.
Beacon was donated to Saanich Police by Wounded Warriors Canada and Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs which is a division of BC Guide Dogs.
The stress intervention dog has specialized training to sense anxiety and to comfort staff and officers during debriefings of critical incidents.
Police say the pup will also be able to better support victims of crime and survivors of sexual offences during interviews with police officers in a trauma-informed manner.
Since Saanich Police have had numerous sexualized crimes in the last year as well as the Saanich shooting of June 28th, 2022, Beacon will be instrumental in improving officers’ mental health.
- New details reveal Saanich bank robbers intended to ‘kill or injure’ as many officers as possible
- IIO report reveals new unreleased details surrounding deadly shooting at Saanich bank
In a recent press conference, Chief Dean Duthie said that five of the six officers who were shot during the Saanich bank robbery have not returned to work yet. Beacon may be able to make the transition back to work easier for the injured and traumatized officers.