A new Estevan Police Service member is joining their team, with the service dog Cherry arriving in Estevan earlier this week.

She's contracted through Companion Dogs Canada to help bring mental health awareness and improve the mental health for the members of the Estevan Police Service.

Cherry isn't quite what you'd expect out of a police dog, says EPS Chief Rich Lowen.

"She's not quite the vicious dog that people seem to associate with us. She is trained and certified as a therapy dog and a therapy dog is strictly for mental wellness, health, and reducing stress for our members who go through trauma throughout their careers. So we want to have a dog in the service that helps them along through their careers."

Companion Dogs Canada trains Cherry and gives her police handler additional support.

"They're the trainers and certification specialists, and Cherry will be working with the handler here and the training is both for the handler and for the dog to try and understand the best way that a dog can support somebody when they're going through a bit of a traumatic experience."

"Cherry is recognized to be able to approach people who are in distress and sit beside them and give them a bit of support and let them have that presence to reduce the stress and support the well-being of the members." 

Lowen says that the EPS members are excited to see Cherry in the office.

"She's still got a bit of certification and training to go through but her first visit was very nice. I don't know if you've ever had a dog come visit you in the workplace, it puts a smile on everybody's face. So Cherry did just what she was supposed to do."