Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

K9 Rocco

Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Thursday, January 30, 2014

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Reflections for K9 Rocco

"There is a reason why God is Dog spelled backwards." Its been over a year, K9 Officer Rocco, but you are still here. You are never forgotten. A true "guardian of the night," and a brave hero. At your memorial service, the K9 trainer accurately stated that a K9's loyalty and commitment to their partner is unmatched. Indeed that is true. Run free in heaven brave guardian and hero. Run free, until you are reunited with your human family one day. Thank you for your selfless sacrifice and heroic service to Officer Phil Lerza, your partner and to the City of Pittsburgh.

Camille R Svilar
Citizen of the City of Pittsburgh

February 25, 2015

I will be riding for you Rocco in the Police Unity Tour this year Rocco. We all know what Dog spelled backwards is.When you crossed that Rainbow Bridge I am sure you had a Heroes welcome. I am sure you will be forever missed.

Retired Sergeant K. Riddell
NCCPD - Delaware

February 24, 2015

A Hero now in Heaven, always remembered and never forgotten.
K-9 Rocco, you made the ultimate sacrifice and saved your partners life, you stole our hearts. Run the fields of Heaven......

Kim Weigand Mom of Sgt. Mike Weigand
PA C.O.P.S.

January 30, 2015

RIP K9 Rocco. You went in brave and paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting your handler and your community. Thank you for your service, dedication & loyalty. Prayers to your handler & best friend. You will once meet again at the Rainbow Bridge. Until then, run free sweet boy.. you deserve it!!!

Lisa
Family Member - New Jersey LEO's
Pompton Lakes, NJ

September 16, 2014

These dogs are heroes in every sense of the word. Giving his life for the officer he served was Rocco's last of many heroic acts. I pray for for his family & the police department he served for 5 years.

Citizen Val Fisher

September 12, 2014

Good boy, Rocco! You were so brave! I am so sorry for the loss of such a beautful, brave, stong, intelligent officer. God's peace to all who loved you.

Citizen

July 11, 2014

On behalf of the members of the International Police Association, I would like to extend our sincerest condolences to you, your family and friends regarding the loss of K9 Rocco.

I sincerely extend my sympathy to the handler of K9 Rocco and your department copes with this loss. K9 Rocco's service to law enforcement will never be forgotten.


Sincerely,

Bonnie Watt Chaplain IPA_USA
International Police Associaiton- US Section

June 29, 2014

Thank you for your service. God Bless you Rocco.

CTO/Supervisor
Campbell County VA

June 16, 2014

IN MEMORY OF K9 ROCCO

To the family, friends, and colleagues of K9 Rocco:

From the beginning of time after Cain killed his brother, Abel, there has been a need for law enforcement officers to protect the weak and to bring evildoers to justice. This work is necessary in a sinful world and is dangerous. In 2014, some eight law enforcement canines have sacrificed their lives to protect their handlers and the citizens of this great nation. Today, we honor the sacrifice of K9 Rocco, of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Police Department, who was stabbed and mortally wounded in the line-of-duty while protecting his handler and another police officer, who were engaged in a violent struggle with a desperate fugitive on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. K9 Rocco succumbed to his wounds on Thursday, January 30, 2014, after several attempted surgeries to save his life failed.

Lord God, we are grateful for the life of K9 Rocco. He died serving us. Help us never to forget. Help us celebrate the life of K9 Rocco and honor his sacrifice. Be with the family, friends, and colleagues of this fallen hero. Comfort them and give them your strength. Guide those who seek to take care of the family of this hero. May those empowered to do so, care for them with integrity. In commemorating the death of this hero, help those who mourn to remember that death is not the end. Death does not have the final say, but is simply the transition to the glorious life to come. Dogs do go to heaven! They should look forward to that life to come with joy and thanksgiving.

As for the citizens of Pittsburh, Pennsylvania, help them to faithfully equip their police officers and canines with the best tools to protect their community. May their training be adequate to the task. Help the citizens of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to remember to fund their canine programs adequately and treat their canine heroes with respect. Help the citizens of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to obey the law and treat each other with dignity so as not to add to the burden of crime and pain to their community.

The time for mourning will soon pass. We have now remembered and celebrated the life lost in this great tragedy. As the family, friends, and colleagues of K9 Rocco go forward, they must celebrate the good things in their lives; and to celebrate life itself!

Finally, Lord God, we pray for the families, friends, and colleagues of all the law enforcement officers and canines who have been killed in the line-of-duty and we thank you for their sacrifices. Bless the lives of their families, friends, and colleagues so they might find healing. Help their law enforcement organizations support the families of these fallen heroes. Even though their deaths might have been senseless, make something good come out of these situations so that their law enforcement organizations and the communities in which they lived and served might be stronger because of their lives and their deaths.

Amen.

Lord God, hear our prayers.

Now, may the Lord bless you, and keep you: the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen.


In His Service,

Pastor Steven R. Closs
Retired Captain of Police, Nashua NH Police Department
The Peacemakers Prayer Ministry

Pastor Steven R. Closs
Retired Captain of Police, Nashua, NH Police Department

June 16, 2014

June 4, 2014 K-9 Rocco was posthumously awarded the US WAR DOGS Service Medal by the US WAR DOGS ASSN presented by REP DOM COSTA of Pittsburgh to his handler and wife, Officer Phil and Mrs. Lerza when the House passed Rocco's Resolution (as follows) HR 655. (sponsor REP Dom Costa) May Rocco's resolution remind us all of the heroic sacrifices made by all
K-9s who serve their LE handlers and save their lives by giving theirs in the line of duty for our public safety in keeping us safe and secure and our MWDs who serve to maintain our freedoms. We also thank and appreciate legislators who sponsor and support bills that benefit the K-9 profession, their handlers and dogs in their safety at work and in their retirement. Thank you Rep Dom Costra for giving K-9 Rocco and Pennsylvania's K-9s your attention, time, support and recognition. They deserve our Honor and Memory. Rest and Play in Peace K-9 Rocco EOW 1.30.14

We must give you Honor
For you are one too
There's no honor for me
If there is none for you
Til death us do part
This K-9 mantra rings true
They gave and give all for the red white and blue. bsnow

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE RESOLUTION
No. 655 Session of
2014
INTRODUCED BY D. COSTA, READSHAW, KORTZ, D. MILLER, RAVENSTAHL,
KINSEY, KIM, SCHREIBER, MUSTIO, HARKINS, COHEN, TOEPEL,
McGEEHAN, P. COSTA, KAUFFMAN, KOTIK, REED, ROZZI, CONKLIN,
SCHLOSSBERG, B. BOYLE, ENGLISH, NEUMAN, YOUNGBLOOD, SAINATO,
AUMENT, LUCAS, DAVIS, KIRKLAND, HENNESSEY, SNYDER, HARHAI,
PEIFER, MILLARD, BIZZARRO, MICOZZIE, P. DALEY, WHITE,
CALTAGIRONE, BROWNLEE, DiGIROLAMO, PICKETT, M. K. KELLER,
MARSHALL, FARINA, MAJOR, HAGGERTY, RAPP, GRELL, SONNEY,
GOODMAN, THOMAS, STERN, C. HARRIS, MAHONEY, GIBBONS, O'NEILL,
FRANKEL, ROCK, TURZAI, MOLCHANY, HAHN, MCNEILL, GROVE,
MIRABITO, MENTZER, SWANGER, GINGRICH, EVERETT, MARSICO, MURT
AND WATSON, FEBRUARY 19, 2014
INTRODUCED AS NONCONTROVERSIAL RESOLUTION UNDER RULE 35,
FEBRUARY 19, 2014
A RESOLUTION
Honoring the life and service of Rocco, a Pittsburgh Bureau of
Police Canine Officer who valiantly gave his life in the line
of duty to protect others, and offering condolences to those
whose lives were positively impacted by Rocco.
WHEREAS, Rocco, an eight-year old German Shepherd and member
of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police K-9 Unit, made the ultimate
sacrifice while protecting his fellow police officers from a
criminal; and
WHEREAS, Two days after Rocco suffered a life-threatening
stab wound, he tragically lost his battle to survive and
succumbed to his injuries on January 30, 2014; and
WHEREAS, If it were not for Rocco's bravery, other officers
may have been more seriously injured or killed; and

WHEREAS, Rocco was trained to be a police dog at the
Pittsburgh K-9 Academy, which trains canines and pairs them with
officers to enhance the public's safety, expand police
capabilities and improve department efficiency overall; and
WHEREAS, After an extensive three-month training program,
Rocco was assigned to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in 2008;
and
WHEREAS, He became one of only 21 canines on the force; and
WHEREAS, Rocco was Officer Philip Lerza's partner since 2010;
and
WHEREAS, This fearless canine was a "dual purpose" dog that
trained in areas of explosives and gun detection, as well as
regular patrol; and
WHEREAS, Rocco received full police honors during a memorial
service on February 7, 2014, at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial
Hall and Museum in Pittsburgh; and
WHEREAS, Every day, police dogs courageously serve an
important purpose for many police departments and communities
across this Commonwealth; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives honor the life
and service of Rocco who valiantly gave his life in the line of
duty to protect others and offer its condolences to those whose
lives were positively impacted by Rocco; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to
the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, 1203 Western Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15233.
20140HR0655PN3019 - 2 -

Barbara Snow ED US WAR DOGS ASSN Chap 2 Bronson FL 32621 [email protected]

Barbara Snow Executive Director
US WAR DOGS ASSN

June 11, 2014

God Bless you Rocco. You went down fighting!. A true hero my deepest condolences to your partner who must be grieving so terribly.

Sergeant Yalcin Kiyar sh#3518
NYPD retired

May 27, 2014

We are grateful for all that is sacrificed.

Nancy
Remembering John's Best Friend Dwight

May 5, 2014

K/9 Rocco you served with honor and you are a true hero. Take a rest and enjoy playing in the tall grass in Heaven.

Former Sgt Joe Covington M/C #4926
Corpus Christi Police Department

May 4, 2014

Goodnight Rocco. We love you. Keep watching over us, boy

PFC E. GONZALEZ #0049
BOWIE CITY PD. MARYLAND.

April 1, 2014

Rocco I didn't know you but as a Pennsylvanian and owner of a German Shepherd myself, I have to say your bravery and loyalty astound me. German Shepherds are beautiful creatures who will protect their owners until the end. You are missed but not forgotten.

Maura
citizen

March 31, 2014

Rocco, you will be missed by everyone who loved being around with you. You were a brave dog and I am proud of you. Now you join all the other police dogs that have died in the line of duty up there in Police Dog Heaven. My thoughts and prayers are with the Pittsburgh Police Department as they mourn your death. You were such a good dog and when the handlers go past your pen. They know you won't be there to see them go by and so will all the other police dogs that risk their lives everyday to go out and catch criminals on a everyday basis. That person who killed you will get his just deserts. He will possibly be serving a nice prison term for what he did to you.

Bradford Paulson
Observer of all things law enforcement

March 18, 2014

My thoughts and prayers are with Rocco's handler, family and friends.

Rest in peace Rocco!

Michelle - Wife of US Marshal

March 11, 2014

A true hero. We could all learn a lesson in sacrifice from Rocco. What a good boy!!

Jonathan Phillips
Former K9 Catcher

March 10, 2014

Heartfelt sorrow and grief for the loss of such a loyal and valiant Police K9 as Rocco. To his handler and colleagues condolences and sympathy.

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

SERGEANT JOHN L. VANO
Plymouth County Sheriff's Department - Warrant Unit / Fugitives

March 8, 2014

It is always a huge blow to the law enforcement community whenever a serving member falls at the hands of criminals. As a law enforcement official in Jamaica with 36 years experience, I can identify with each situation. My sincere condolences to the families, friends fraternity of those who have fallen and to the former handlers of K9 Rocco. Let us resolve to be stronger in the face of adversity as we strive to serve and protect our citizens, our colleagues and our nations.

Detective Inspector, Leroy James
Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF)

March 5, 2014

Heartfelt to your handler Rocco. When you meet my partner at the bridge tell him to AUS! So you can share his Kong.
2*

Fidelus ad Urnam

Former FL K9

February 22, 2014

Well said Barbara Snow! Good boy Rocco! Thank you for your service Rocco. My condolences to your handler and family.

Dina
daughter of a fallen officer

February 18, 2014

Our Heartfelt condolences to your Department and Rocco's partner.
We are proud of his service to his community and Law Enforcement.
I know he will be greatly missed.

Chaplain Don Willis
Wilson Co. Sherrif's Office, Tennessee

February 17, 2014

Good boy Rocco, job well done, puppy heaven for you....

Philip Callas, Det Retired
Secaucus, NJ PD

February 17, 2014

R.I.P. Rocco

P.O. K. Murphy
Union PD, NJ

February 14, 2014

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