Buffalo Police Receive $16,000 from Fundraiser

Fundraiser held in memory of Officer Craig Lehner, fallen K9 officer

Tom Puckett
December 22, 2017 - 2:52 pm
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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The results of a recent fundraiser for fallen Buffalo Police K9 Officer Craig Lehner were announced Friday. The event at Club Marcella raised $16,460, which police say will go toward acquiring and training a new K9.

Joe Marcella of Club Marcella hosted the event. "Buffalo really showed up, came together and made this happen," says Marcella. He says he never saw so many food donations for that night's event.

Lt. Salvatore Gosi of the BPD K9 unit says the money will go toward training the next dog for two purposes. "The way things are in the world, police dogs have become expensive, especially for bomb detection, which the next dog we get will have to undergo training for that," says Gosi. "There's the cost of the training of the dog, plus modification of the car to transport a police dog, so that's what the funds will be used for primarily," says Gosi. Gosi says there will be an opening in the K9 unit with one handler retiring and other dog reaching the age of ten. 

As for Shield, "he's enjoying the limelight, and we are still in the process of choosing another handler. We've been keeping him up on his training," says Gosi. Shield is a narcotics dog, but the next dog will be a dual purpose dog.

Lehner's relative Donna Wilson expressed her gratitude not just for her family, but for Buffalo Police. "It's always Craig's wish that we could get more K9s. As much as he loved Buffalo, that was his pride and joy with Shield, and we're just happy everyone was able to come out and show their support," says Wilson.

The name of the next dog will represent Lehner, but police say that won't be determined until the dog is acquired. 

 

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