Cheshire Police have recruited their first wellbeing dog to bridge the gap between the police and community and provide people with emotional support.
Harley, the labradoodle puppy, will join the police force after he completes one year of socialisation training.
The four-legged friend will attend schools and public events with his owner PC Jane Tetlow to encourage young people to engage with police officers.
PC Tetlow is part of Cheshire Police’s youth engagement team and proposed Cheshire Police took on a wellbeing dog 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.”
As well as being a talking point between the community and the police, Harley is poised to provide emotional support to victims of crime, police officers and police staff.
Harley has been partly funded by the Community Police Fund which uses money seized from criminal activity to reinvest in communities.
Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, PCC David Keane 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.
“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.”
Main photo: PCC David Keane meets Harley and PC Tetlow at Stockton Heath Police Station