Berks County Community Foundation has awarded $34,700 in grants to support K9 units at three law enforcement agencies in the region.
- $23,761 for the City of Reading Police Department K9 Unit to renovate the kennel located behind Reading Regional Airport that houses the dogs when they are not in the officers’ homes.
- $5,700 for the Lower Merion Police Department K9 Unit in Montgomery County to support K9 equipment and training programs.
- $5,239 for the West Reading Police Department K9 Unit for equipment, training, vet bills, and vehicle maintenance.
The grants were issued from two separate funds at the Community Foundation.
The Darrell and Gloria Rank K9 Corps Fund provides financial support to governmental entities in Berks County for the acquisition, training, and ongoing maintenance of K9 units.
Since 2012, the Darell and Gloria Rank K9 Corps Fund has awarded $154,582 in grants.
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. For instance, he rescued a woman from a car during the 1972 flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Agnes, and he attempted 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 2017, The Richard Groff and Meda Kern K9 Corps Endowment Fund has awarded $62,654 in grants.
This fund supports 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.
Attached photo: Reading Police Officer David Vega and K-9 Rex, one of the newer police dogs in the Reading Police Department, visit Berks County Community Foundation on January 17, 2020.