Cheshire Police’s newest recruit is being hailed as a vital link between policing and local communities by the county’s police and crime commissioner (PCC).
PCC David Keane met 16-week-old wellbeing dog, Harley, during a recent day in the office. He says the pup, which he part funded through his Community Police Fund, will help break down barriers.
Once he’s completed his training, Harley will accompany his owner PC Jane Tetlow on visits to local schools and public events to encourage young people to engage with police officers.
He’ll also provide support to victims of crime and police officers or staff dealing with traumatic situations with the aim of reducing stress and anxiety and creating a more relaxed environment.
The labradoodle is currently undergoing 12 months of socialisation training before he becomes the Constabulary’s first wellbeing dog.
David said: “We all know that dogs provide amazing emotional support in difficult situations. Harley is already a pro at interacting with people of all ages and with the training he’s undergoing and the support from PC Tetlow, it won’t be long until he’s a fully-fledged member of Cheshire Constabulary
“Harley will help local police teams further connect with local communities as they offer safety advice and try to prevent crime. He’ll also be on hand to offer officers and staff emotional support after a difficult shift or traumatic incident.
“I’m so glad my Community Police Fund could help support such an important project which delivers on my commitments to bring policing closer to our communities and look after the mental health of staff and officers.”
The Community Police Fund invests money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (PoCA 2002) and reinvests it into local communities. The commissioner has made funding available for all 122 police communities in Cheshire.
PC Jane Tetlow, from Cheshire Police’s youth engagement team, came up with the proposal for the four-legged new recruit after seeing how well it worked in other forces.
She said: “Harley has an important job to do helping our young members of the community and our officers and staff.
“We too have an important job in making sure he’s happy, healthy and thriving in his new role.
“We hope he thoroughly enjoys his new life.”
You can follow Harley on instragram @harleyPTD.