Advertisement

Barrie police dog named after OPP officer who died by suicide

Barrie police Const. Paul Chubb is the handler of the 18-month-old Belgian Malinois dog Routs, the newest member of the force's K9 unit. Police handout

A Barrie police dog has been named after an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) sergeant who died by suicide after a struggle with mental illness in 2018.

The 18-month-old Belgian Malinois dog, called Routs, is named after former OPP Sgt. Sylvain “Roots” Routhier. He’s meant to honour the mental health challenges that Routhier and other police workers face.

Read more: $360K of drugs seized after man stashes them in bushes in Barrie, Ont.

Routs’ handler, Barrie police Const. Paul Chubb, met Routhier through training courses in 2015.

According to the Barrie Police Service, Routhier had always wanted to serve as a K9 officer, but he was allergic to dogs.

“We are excited to welcome K9 Routs to the Barrie Police Service,” Barrie police chief Kimberley Greenwood said in a statement Wednesday.

Story continues below advertisement

“We are grateful to be able to honour Sgt. Routhier and the many others in the policing profession, sworn and civilian, as well as the members of our community, who struggle with mental health every day.”

Read more: Ontario to spend $8M to staff OPP mental health call program

OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique thanked the Barrie Police Service for recognizing Routhier, saying improving the culture of mental health in policing is a “priority” for the force.

“We will continue to engage in these vital conversations with our policing partners, while ensuring our members and their families get the support they need,” he said.

Routs and Const. Chubb will respond to a variety of police calls, including warrants, robberies, stolen vehicles, weapons and missing persons.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

For a directory of support services in your area, visit the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.

Learn more about how to help someone in crisis on the government of Canada’s website.

Click to play video: 'Toronto mother calls for action in wake of son’s death by suicide leads to report, recommendations' Toronto mother calls for action in wake of son’s death by suicide leads to report, recommendations
Toronto mother calls for action in wake of son’s death by suicide leads to report, recommendations – Jun 21, 2021

Sponsored content