PITTSBURGH — The Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, near Heinz Field in Western Pennsylvania, now has a copper statue to honor the lives of four fallen K9s whose lives were lost in the line of duty.
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All four police dogs lost their lives doing what they were so highly trained to do, which was working to serve and protect the citizens of their state. Ulf, Jupp, Joker and Rocco all died in the line of duty, and this statue is a way to honor their bravery and memorialize them forever.
Rocco, an 8-year-old German Shepherd, died as a result of stab wounds while he was aiding in the apprehension and arrest of a suspect. Rocco’s death prompted Rocco’s Law, which made tougher penalties for those who took the life of a police canine.
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Their ceremony was attended by 75 people, with retired and active officers all present to see this touching tribute’s unveiling. Retired Officer Paul Shawalder, Joker’s partner, said, “Finally, these dogs are getting the recognition they deserve.”