THE MARTINS Ferry Police Department has made many great strides in protecting its citizens.
Recently, the police department was awarded three grants.
The JAG-LE grant will be used to improve equipment in interrogation rooms.?It was awarded by the Office of Criminal Justice Services. The second grant came from the National Rifle Association and will be used to provide gun safety material for students in grades kindergarten through third.
The biggest grant went to one of Martins Ferry's biggest assets, Ecko. The four-legged officer and his handler, Patrolman Chad Kuhn, have worked and trained tirelessly to perfect their technique.
The money received from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation will go towards insurance for Ecko and other necessities.
In the wake of the death of Pittsburgh's police dog, Ricco, each K-9 unit that received the Ben Roethlisberger grant donated a portion of the money to that department to help purchase a new dog. Ricco was killed in the line of duty and did not have insurance.
The money Ecko received will go towards his protection while carrying out his duties.
Ecko, who will turn 5 this September, has become the well-known face of the Martins Ferry Police Department and a huge asset for Belmont County.
Ecko is a dual-purpose K-9 that is trained in narcotic detection, suspect apprehension and tracking. During his time with the police department, he has completed dozens of sniffs and detected copious amounts of drugs.
All-in-all, Ecko is a huge asset that the Martins Ferry Police Department cannot afford to lose.