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Martins Ferry K-9 Receives ‘Big Ben’ Foundation Grant

Retired Martins Ferry K-9 Ecko, left, takes a break with the department’s new K-9 Linus.

MARTINS FERRY — Martins Ferry’s new police dog, Linus, is receiving a helping hand buying equipment related to his job at the Martins Ferry Police Department.

Handled by Officer John Holmes, Linus has received a grant from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland said the Martins Ferry FOPA sought the grant for the department.

Martins Ferry was among eight departments that received grant funding.

“The Martins Ferry Police K-9 unit is very grateful to have been selected for the Ben Roethlisberger grant. The department has recently put a new K-9 into service due to an unexpected retirement of the previous K-9. The grant will be used to purchase training equipment to keep the K-9 unit in peak performance. The department would like to thank the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for your continued support of our K-9 unit,” Holmes said.

In commenting on why the mission of the foundation is so important to him, Roethlisberger said, “We’re very fortunate to be in the position that we are able to help these K-9 units. The work that is performed by the dogs and their handlers as well as the bond that is formed is incredible. We’re just thrilled to do our small part.”

McFarland said Linus has been on the job for about six months, and replaces K-9 Ecko that retired recently from the department. Ecko still lives with Holmes.

“Ecko just has to sit back and enjoy life. Sometimes he still wants to go to work when he sees Officer Holmes in uniform. He wants to go to work, he gets excited,” McFarland said.

McFarland said he wanted to thank “Big Ben” for his help in providing funding to help outfit Linus.

Grants totaling $80,000 were dispersed to Martins Ferry and Columbiana police departments in Ohio, and Homestead Police Department, Beaver Falls Fire Department, Butler Police Department, Connellsville Police Department, Indiana Township Police Department and Uniontown City Police Department in Pennsylvania.

Roethlisberger recently finished his 15th season as quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is a native of Findlay, Ohio.

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