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Covington Police Awarded K9 Grant from Ben Roethlisberger Foundation

The Covington Police Department is one of fifteen to receive grants from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation to support police and fire K-9 programs.

Roethlisberger is the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and a native of Ohio.

Covington was the only Kentucky department to be awarded funds this year.

It is the fourteenth and final grant cycle from the foundation, which will distribute more than $90,000 this year.

The funds support the establishment of new K-9 units, replacement of retiring dogs, purchase of safety and training equipment, and training and certification of new and existing K-9s and other K-9-related expenses. 

“It has been an absolute privilege to be able to support the critical work of K-9 officers and their handlers over the past 14 years,” said Roethlisberger. “To witness the bond between a dog and their handler has been very rewarding. Their lifesaving crimefighting gives ‘teamwork’ new meaning. They are truly partners! I have many fond memories of meeting first responders on the field and in our communities and I want to thank them for their dedication and sacrifice.”

The foundation has invited police departments located in and around cities where the Steelers play to submit proposals based on their needs.

The foundation has distributed more than $2.3 million since 2007, nearly $2 million of which has specifically benefited K-9 programs.

In Covington, the money will be used to train new K-9 Duke, who replaces K-9 Ernie, who retired last fall and died in January.

"During his eight-and-a-half years of service, he was a reliable and dedicated officer, always eager to start his shift to help make our community safer," Covington Police Chief Rob Nader said of Ernie.

Duke was brought into the department last October. Nader said that the Roethlisberger grant will support training, kenneling, food, and veterinarian visits for Duke while also helping two other K-9s in the department, Holly and Dino.

"I would like to thank Big Ben for his continued support of the four-legged police officers across our nation and for the support of the Covington Police Department K-9 Unit in its 52nd year of service,” Nader said.

-Staff report

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