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Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger

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The Jeannette Police Department will be on the receiving end of an $8,000 pass from Ben Roethlisberger.The Steelers quarterback will make the donation through the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, which gives money to police and fire departments, particularly those with service dogs."It's great that we're able to acquire this money for the upkeep of our dog," said police Chief Jeff Stahl.

"We don't have to request the money from the city."Wando, a German shepherd, has been with the police department since 2005 and has been the constant companion of Officer Justin Scalzo.The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation is connected with the Giving Back Fund, a philanthropic resource for the sports and entertainment industry since 1997."My dad instilled in me a love and respect for animals," Roethlisberger said on his foundation's Web site.

"This is a good way to combine that passion with a desire to support the police and fire departments, which deserve all the appropriate resources needed to protect our cities and neighborhoods, and allow these brave men and women to arrive home safely."The money will be distributed through the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity.Scalzo and Stahl met Roethlisberger during the quarterback's recent youth football camp at Mars High School.

"He is a real big supporter of police canines," Scalzo said of Roethlisberger.

"He has a real good heart for him to do this.""It was great to spend five minutes with him," Stahl added.

"It was nice to see that he could spend time with kids and take a few minutes with us." The meeting was captured by television cameras for a syndicated program through EA Sports slated to run in August.

"It's a program about Ben and some of the stuff he does," Scalzo said.

"I did about a 25- to 30-minute interview and did a brief (demonstration) with the dog."Stahl said the department gave Roethlisberger hats, T-shirts and baseball cards featuring the city's canine officer.

He said the money will be a great help."If Wando would have to have surgery, we have the money.

We can take care of the dog," the chief said.The money also could be used to purchase a new dog once Wando retires.However, that might not happen for a few years.

Scalzo said 5 1/2-year-old Wando is in his prime and has aided in a number of apprehensions.

"He's doing phenomenally," Scalzo said.

"We've been working limited to mostly two guys a shift.

It helps (having Wando) when you have large fights or crowd control."More Westmoreland headlinesFederal disaster aid for flooding victims denied Party melee injures Monessen policeman Rendell blasts Senate for not extending jobless benefits Police: Man beaten to death by hired repairman Sheriff's charity picnic canceled Ex-manager sentenced for theft from car dealership Penn Township patrolmen reduced to 13 Jeannette approves school dress code Subscribe to the Tribune-Review today
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