The first grant from a fund created in memory of a fallen sheriff's deputy will be used to replace his retired K9 partner.
In January, the Darell and Gloria Rank K9 Corps Fund was established to provide financial support for the acquisition, training and ongoing maintenance of K9 officers in Berks County.
The first grant from the fund, $10,500, will buy a new K9 deputy for the Berks County Sheriff's Department and pay to train the dog and its handler.
"Gloria created the fund through her will to honor her husband's heroism and to provide support for local K9 units," said Susan N. Denaro Esq., who is administering the estate. "Shortly before she died we talked about Jynx's retirement and she was heartened to know that her fund would help to replace other K9s in the future. As it turns out, the very first grant from her fund will be used to replace Jynx."
After the estate is settled, officials said the Darell and Gloria Rank K9 Corps Fund is expected to top $300,000.
Darell Rank had a history of helping out during difficult times.
In 1972, he rescued a woman from her car during the floods that followed Hurricane Agnes.
In 1973, Rank attempted to apprehend a suspect in an assault on a teenage girl after her friends ran to his house to alert him of the attack at a nearby recreation area. He was a key witness in the trial that eventually led to the conviction of the man who was wanted on murder and assault charges stemming from other incidents.
"We’re grateful to Darell and Gloria Rank for creating this ongoing means of support for local K9 officers," said Berks County Sheriff Eric Weaknecht. "The grant will replace Jynx with another K9 trained for explosive detection. His replacement is part of a larger K9 program we’ve instituted that includes two drug-detecting dogs."
The sheriff’s department is also collecting donations for its own Friends of the Berks County Sheriff K-9 Fund.
"The department created the fund to maintain and enhance the Berks County Sheriff K9 Unit and to provide education and awareness for local residents," Weaknecht said.
Donations should be made payable to the Berks County Sheriff's Benevolence Fund and mailed to Friends of the Berks County Sheriff K9, Attn: Sgt. Matthew Mendenhall, 633 Court Street, Reading, PA 19601.