By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Snieper, Mt. Lebanon’s officer, is trained to stop a bad guy, but for his handler he’s more than just a police dog.

“He’s my partner and best friend,” says Officer Ben Himan.

Snieper lives with Himan and he says the death of Pittsburgh K-9 officer Rocco was hard to take.

“I would never want myself to be in that same situation,” he said. “It’s a very tough one.”

Himan supports a bi-partisan bill called “Rocco’s Law” introduced by Pennsylvania Sen. Matt Smith of Mt. Lebanon and every state senator from Allegheny County to increase the penalty for shooting a police K-9.

“We want to make it a second degree felony which would make it a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine, which would bring Pennsylvania in line with federal law which is 10 years of imprisonment as well,” Smith told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday.

Smith says Rocco gave all — and other K-9s like Snieper deserve quick action on this bill.

“We want to get this on the governor’s desk at some point before June,” said Smith.

“These police service dogs wear the same badge we do, and any increased penalty that would go against our badge I think is a good thing,” added Himan.

Smith says the House version of his bill is being introduced by former Pittsburgh Police Chief and now state Rep. Dom Costa of Morningside.


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Outpouring Of Support Helping K-9 Officer’s Partner Through Loss