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Jason and wife Kylie Kelce join friend Steve Videon in giving back to Haverford community with K-9 sponsorship



Exactly one week after the world watched the vital role that K-9 officers played in the capture of escaped inmate Danelo Cavalcante on Sept. 13, the Haverford Township Police Department officially introduced their newest K-9 Officer Winnie to her sponsors and the public.

Being the new officer on the force wasn’t the only reason Winnie was the center of a lot of attention last week.

The 2-year-old black Labrador retriever was being introduced, for the very first time, to her co-sponsors, Steve Videon of Videon Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram and Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce and family.

“With Jason and Steve’s help, our department was able to acquire a new K-9 officer, with very minimal expense to the taxpayers,” Haverford Township Police Chief John Viola stated. “They are two well-respected community leaders who helped our department move forward in a big way.”

Jason and Kylie Kelce, with two of their three daughters — Wyatt, 4, and Elliotte, 2 — arrived at the Videon Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram parking lot on West Chester Pike in Edgmont, smiling and greeting the many Haverford officers waiting to make the K-9 introduction, and Haverford Officer Anthony Patterson, Winnie’s handler, and Patterson’s wife, Melissa, and their two boys.

As he made his way to meet the new K-9 officer, Kelce shook hands, joked around, and smiled for photos with the small group that gathered to meet the popular Eagles player, now in his 13th season.

“This is incredible,” Kelce said to those witnessing the introduction. “Our family loves dogs and we love our police department. To be able to help out and bring another K-9 onto the force is just awesome. This is such good stuff”

Both the Kelces and Videons have deep connections to Haverford Township.

The Kelces are Havertown residents. The Videons attend church at Bethany Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Havertown, and his business serves many customers there, as well as all over Delaware and Chester counties.

The two men have had a longtime friendship, with Kelce starring in over a dozen Videon Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram commercials over the years.

“We were overjoyed when we heard Jason was partnering with Steve to acquire our new K-9,” Viola shared. “I know Jason Kelce is a huge part of Philadelphia, but he lives in our community and he’s a big part of our Haverford community, as well.”

“Everyone in our town cherishes the Kelce family,” added Deputy Chief Joe Hagan. “They are a really community-oriented family, so for them to do this, did not surprise any of us.”

Winnie was acquired earlier this year from Pacific Coast K-9 in Washington state, which specializes in single-purpose sporting breeds for detection work, especially narcotics detection.

Kylie Kelce shared the irony of the new K-9 being named Winnie.

“When we heard her name, we couldn’t believe it,” Kylie said. “Our two family dogs are named Winnie and Baloo.”

K-9 Officer Winnie is a single-purpose narcotics detection dog, and Haverford’s first Black lab K-9.

In June, she graduated from five weeks of training at Iron Rose K-9 Inc. in Boiling Springs, Cumberland County, and only a few days later, went straight out on patrol with Patterson.

Winnie lives with the Patterson family.

“We love her, and the kids love her,” Melissa smiled fondly, looking at Winnie. “We have another dog, Zoey, and they get along well. We’re able to all go on family walks together.”

Lifetime dream’
“It has been a lifetime dream of Officer Patterson to partner with a K-9,” Viola added. “I heard that a police officer with a K-9 came to his house when he was a young boy and that encounter inspired him to become a police officer.”

The K-9 officer is still training and bonding with her handler. In addition to detection work, the department hopes Winnie will serve in public relations for the department and be present at many community events.

Winnie is replacing K-9 Officer Barr who retired in 2022, after nine years on the job, handling 450 assignments. Barr was handled by Offiver John Valvardi. Viola said that K-9s typically serve 8 to 10 years before retiring.

The Haverford department has 70 officers. Haverford’s K-9 unit, begun in 2013, currently consists of four handlers and dogs, one for each rotating shift.

In addition to 24/7 assignments in Haverford, the unit also helps out neighboring municipalities that don’t have a K-9 officer, Viola said.

The three other Haverford K-9s are Axel, partnered with Officer Thomas McDermott; Jango, partnered with Officer Doug Linker; and Bodhi, partnered with Officer Larry McLaughlin.

Jango is expected to retire in January. Purchase price for a new police dog is estimated to be about $16,000.

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