Grant for dog helps area police activity

We’re happy that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a big and community- minded heart when it comes to police dogs.

The Roethlisberger Foundation was in the news lately when it paid to help replace Rocco, the Pittsburgh police dog that was killed in the line of duty.

Roethlisberger’s foundation is providing a $6,500 grant to the Jefferson County Drug Task Force to allow Gunner, the Belgian Malinos that serves as the task force’s K-9 officer, to be equipped with a safety vest.

In addition, the grant will allow for certification of Gunner as a dual-purpose dog, allowing him to alert not only on illegal drugs but also to apprehend and track fleeing suspects.

The acquisition of the local grant was made possible with the help of the United Way of Jefferson County, which sponsored the task force in its application.

Gunner is not the only area police dog, however, and we would hope that there are willing donors in the community to follow the Roethlisberger Foundation’s example.

These four-footed officers are on duty in communities up and down the valley, and, as the death of Rocco highlights, deserve protection as much as possible.