WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - K9 Rico is the latest recruit for the West Chester Police Department. Rico replaces Rex, who retired a little more than a year ago.
The 14-month old Belgian Malinois hails from Holland, where he was specifically bred for police work.
Rico comes to the department thanks to a $12,000 charitable grant from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. Another $2,000 was donated by White Castle to cover the remaining costs of canine training.
"The West Chester Police Department is incredibly fortunate to have such amazing support from the community," Chief of Police Joel Herzog said in a news release. "In addition to thanking our generous donors, I'd like to also say a special 'thank you' to the West Chester Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association and to The Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty for their stewardship in helping to make this opportunity come true."
Rico joins Blek and Ciro in the unit to bring the department up to its full complement of three dogs.
Starting April 3, Rico will undergo eight more weeks of training at a local facility in Franklin, Ohio before he is expected to take his post in early summer 2018.
His duties will include apprehension, narcotics and tracking.