PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was a very special day for a boy whose father was killed in the line of duty.

Ben Dryer suffers from autism. His father, East Washington Police Officer John David Dryer, was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Interstate 70 last year.

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On Saturday afternoon, Ben Dryer was just one of many local residents given a special service dog at Penn Hills Community Park.

“He’s a sweetheart,” said Becca Major, of the Autism Center of Pittsburgh. “I think that this dog is [going to] be really good for him.”

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“They look for the attachment, a natural attachment between the dog and the child, so that they can build upon that,” said Andrew Volchko, of the Western Pa. Benevolent Foundation. “Ben’s already found his today. His dog selection was a beautiful young German Shepherd dog named Copper.”

Ben and Copper are already getting along well.

She is trained to help Ben become more independent.

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