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Jeannette High senior raises $1,000 for police K-9 | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Jeannette High senior raises $1,000 for police K-9

Renatta Signorini
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Jeannette Officer James Phillips and K-9 Arees pose with Cole Bertok, 18, of Jeannette, who donated money towards Arees' training as part of his senior project.
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Jeannette Officer James Phillips (left) and K-9 Arees pose with Cole Bertok, 18, of Jeannette, and Police Chief Shannon Binda (right). Bertok donated money towards Arees' training as part of his senior project.
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Jeannette Officer James Phillips and K-9 Arees pose with Cole Bertok, 18, of Jeannette, who donated money towards Arees' training as part of his senior project.
gtrbertoknewsmaker2
Jeannette Officer James Phillips (left) and K-9 Arees pose with Cole Bertok, 18, of Jeannette, and Police Chief Shannon Binda (right). Bertok donated money towards Arees' training as part of his senior project.
gtrbertoknewsmaker1
Jeannette Officer James Phillips and K-9 Arees pose with Cole Bertok, 18, of Jeannette, who donated money towards Arees' training as part of his senior project.
gtrbertoknewsmaker2
Jeannette Officer James Phillips (left) and K-9 Arees pose with Cole Bertok, 18, of Jeannette, and Police Chief Shannon Binda (right). Bertok donated money towards Arees' training as part of his senior project.

Cole Bertok

Noteworthy: Bertok raised $1,000 for Jeannette Police Department’s K-9 Arees through his senior project and was recognized for his efforts during a recent city council meeting.

Age: 18

Residence: Jeannette

Family: Parents, Shelly and Jason Bertok, and brother, Caleb

Education: Senior at Jeannette High School.

Occupation: Associate at Home Depot

Background: Police K-9 handlers typically have to seek donations for various expenses for their dogs, which can include veterinarian care, protective vests and vehicles. Bertok initially wanted to help Arees get a protective vest. After learning the animal already has one, he switched gears. “I still wanted to donate the money somehow to benefit the dog,” Bertok said. His donation will fund future training expenses for Arees, a German shepherd who has been with the department for the last few years. Arees is trained in patrol and narcotics detection. Bertok raised $800 through a T-shirt fundraiser sale. The T-shirts have a pawprint on the front with Arees’ name and a K-9 officer’s prayer on the back. “The first sale was so successful, so we might as well keep it going,” Bertok said. He raised another $200 through a sweatpants fundraiser sale. Bertok plans to study criminal justice at Westmoreland County Community College. He hopes to become a state trooper.

Quote: “I always wanted to be a police officer when I was young.”

— Renatta Signorini

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