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Bono’s efforts helped city

He didn’t look quite the same as his fellow officers, but no one would dare to ever question his courage and intensity.

During his eight-year career with the Steubenville Police Department, he was involved in nearly 600 searches, more than 200 drug seizures, 160 drug paraphernalia seizures and 20 firearm seizures.

In 2020 alone, he assisted many other agencies, including the U.S. Marshal Service, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and the Jefferson County Special Response team.

And he found the time to appear at 24 public relations events with schools and area organizations.

Bono served alongside his handler, Sgt. Rob Cook, in a wide variety of situations until the unexpected death of the Belgian Malinois on Nov. 7.

There’s a special bond between K-9 officers like Bono and their human handlers, one that grows through constant contact. As Cook explained, the K-9 is with the officer while at work and at home.

It’s critical to the work that is expected of K-9s. They provide a service that none of the other officers can do, said Deputy U.S. Marshal Chad Simpson said while remembering Bono and how he assisted the Mountain State Fugitive Drug Task Force.

Bono had a knack for tracking suspects and a deep bark that could prove to be very intimidating, and looked even tougher because of an immune deficiency disorder that caused the hair around his eyes, jaws and chin to fall out. He came to Steubenville and was equipped thanks to the help of 6th Ward Councilman Bob Villamagna, the Teramana family, the Steubenville Hilltop Community Development Corp. of Pleasant Heights and LaBelle View and the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.

Make no mistake, Bono was a police officer, and as such was entitled to the memorial service conducted Wednesday at Historic Fort Steuben, said Patrolman Jim Marquis, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 1.

Bono will be remembered as an officer who possessed skills and abilities that are incomprehensible to humans, one who protected his fellow officers and citizens of Steubenville with an unwavering tenacity — he was an asset who will truly be missed by Cook, the department and the city.

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