READING, PA – Two funds of Berks County Community Foundation that assist K9 law enforcement units recently awarded a total of $32,000 in grants.
Grants were given to the City of Reading Police Department, the City of Reading Office of the Fire Marshal, the West Penn Township Police Department (Schuylkill County), the West Reading Police Department, and the Whitehall Township Police Department (Lehigh County).
The Darell and Gloria Rank K9 Corps Fund and the Richard Groff and Meda Kern K9 Corps Endowment Fund awarded these grants:
$18,095 to the City of Reading Police Department for equipment, such as handler gloves, leashes, and scent training aids.$5,000 to the City of Reading Office of the Fire Marshal to offset the operating budget of a recently-acquired Accelerant Detection Canine through the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This grant gives the office flexibility to spend money on other programs, such as fire safety presentations and a service that provides free smoke detectors to the community.$3,450 to the West Penn Township Police Department for training and a bite suit.$2,955 to the Whitehall Township Police Department for a bite suit and a scent detection kit.$2,500 to the West Reading Police Department for training and equipment.
Darell S. Rank, the first executive of the Berks Earned Income Tax Bureau, and his wife, Gloria E. (D’Ercole) Rank, understood the importance of safety in their community. Darell Rank had his fair share of courageous moments – rescuing a woman from a car during the 1972 flood caused by Hurricane Agnes, and attempting to apprehend a suspect who assaulted a teenage girl. His eyewitness testimony was crucial evidence used for the conviction of the assailant, who was wanted for murder and assault in separate cases. When Gloria died at the age of 79 in 2012, her will left a majority of her estate to Berks County Community Foundation.
Since 2012, the Darell and Gloria Rank K9 Corps Fund has awarded $119,682 in grants.
The Richard Groff and Meda Kern K9 Corps Endowment Fund provides financial support to law enforcement K9 units in Berks County and contiguous counties (Chester, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Schuylkill counties). Richard E. Groff died September 30, 1995, at age 58. His wife, Meda Ann Kern, died November 9, 2015, at age 79, leaving a majority of her estate to Berks County Community Foundation.
Since 2017, this fund has awarded $29,554 in grants.