Riverhead Police K9 Officer "Rocky". Photo: Riverhead Town Police

The Riverhead Police Department is accepting donations in memory of “Rocky,” the K9 officer killed in the line of duty Sept. 2.

The town police department has seen an outpouring of support from the community, with many people asking how they could help the department during this difficult time, Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said in a press release.

Cash donations will help Riverhead PD acquire, train and maintain a new K9 officer, the supervisor said.

“All donations will directly benefit our K9 Units, and will support the training of a new K9.”

Checks may be made payable to “Riverhead Town Police Department – K9” and mailed to the Office of the Chief of Police – K9, 210 Howell Avenue, Riverhead, NY 11901.

Rocky was responding with his handler Officer John Morris in pursuit of a vehicle whose driver refused to stop at a sobriety checkpoint at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 2. The vehicle struck an officer within the checkpoint and fled, police said. The K9 unit was one of several police units that pursued the fleeing vehicle. The driver of the K9 unit lost control of the vehicle on West Main Street near Raynor Avenue. The vehicle left the roadway and struck a utility polce, ejecting “Rocky,” police said Sunday.

Rocky joined the Riverhead Police force in 2011. He was named for former police chief Roscoe “Rocky” Palmer. 

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.