The Berks County Community Foundation is accepting grant applications from law enforcement agencies in Berks to purchase, train and maintain a K-9.

The annual grant is available from the Darrell and Gloria Rank K-9 fund established in January 2012 to buy K-9s for local law enforcement departments.

Gloria Rank set up the grant in her will after Deputy Sheriff Kyle Pagerly was killed while going with a task force to arrest fugitive Maurice Connor, 25, on June 29, 2011, in Albany Township. Connor was then killed.

Pagerly's K-9, Jynx, was retired by Sheriff Eric Weaknecht's office and given to Pagerly's wife, Alecia.

The fund awarded its first grant of $10,500 last March to buy Storm to replace Jynx. Storm is handled by Deputy Sheriff Scott Henry to detect explosives.

"Mrs. Rank created this fund in her will to support local K-9 units now and in the future," said Heidi Williamson, community foundation vice president. "She would have been glad to know the first grant was used to bring Storm on board after Jynx retired."

Weaknecht thanked the foundation for Storm.

"It's been really great," he said. "He sweeps the county court and services center and also goes to the prison checking for explosive. It's fantastic."

Gloria Rank, who died Jan. 16, 2012, at age 79, created the fund to honor the heroism of her husband, who died March 26, 2005. Darrell had a history of heroism, including rescuing a woman from her car in 1972 during the flooding resulting from Tropical Storm Agnes.

Contact Holly Herman: 610-478-6291 or hherman@readingeagle.com.