K-9 units from all over IN attend Charlestown officer’s funeral

Indiana K-9 units pay respects to fallen Charlestown officer

CHARLESTOWN, IN (WAVE) - Hundreds of people attended Charlestown Police Sgt. Ben Bertram’s funeral, along with dozens of K-9s.

The sergeant was a part of the K-9 unit in Charlestown, handling two dogs in the span of his career.

There were two very special K-9s who stayed by the fallen officer until the very end. Bertram’s most recent trainee, Franco, sighed as the community said goodbye.

Franco was in the police cruiser the night Bertram crashed and died during a pursuit of a suspect.

After the crash, the dog ran out of the car. He was found down the road with some injuries.

Franco walked with Bertram's casket at the funeral.
Franco walked with Bertram's casket at the funeral. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

During the funeral, Franco’s injuries were not visible but his anguish was audible.

Bertram spent most of his career training another K-9 named Kubo. Kubo was also present at the ceremony supporting his longtime handler.


“Those were his kids,” Jeffersonville Police Department Lt. Glenn Jackson said. “Ben didn’t have any children but those were his children. Those dogs were his life. Every day he got up and I promise you that the dogs were the first thing that he took care of.”

Jackson is the commander of the K-9 units in JPD. He said the units that attended the funeral did so of their own will.

Jackson said there is a special bond amongst the K-9 units and Bertram was like a son to him.

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