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Wausau police dog comes from Steelers quarterback

  • Associated Press
  • December 20, 2013 - 11:00 AM

WAUSAU, Wis. — The funding for a new police dog in a city where most residents are Green Bay Packers fans is coming from an unlikely source.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is giving Wausau a $13,000 grant to buy and train the police dog. News of Roethlisberger's grant comes a few days before the rival quarterback and the Steelers pay a visit to Lambeau Field.

Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel said the department's K-9 unit is an integral part of its drug prevention and enforcement efforts. The department already has three dogs.

"With the financial support from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, Wausau Police will expand the K-9 program and have a larger impact on our community," Hardel said in a statement. "We will continue to aggressively enforce drug laws to make Wausau a great place to live and visit."

During the 2013-14 NFL season, the foundation is distributing grants to K-9 units of police and fire departments in the cities and surrounding communities of each regular-season away game for the Steelers. Representatives from the foundation invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals, according to the Daily Herald Media (http://wdhne.ws/1bV6BBx ).

It's the seventh season the foundation has distributed grants to K-9 units. The foundation distributed more than $135,000 in grants to K-9 units across the country during the 2012 NFL season and has distributed in excess of $1 million since 2007.

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