• 61°

Appreciation for law enforcement: Officers, support staffs enjoy free lunch at fairgrounds

By Mark Wineka

mark.wineka@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A steady stream of law enforcement officers and their staffs, courthouse and emergency communications personnel kept coming to the Rowan County Fairgrounds Thursday for a “Law Enforcement Appreciation Lunch.”

The free lunch included hamburger steak and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and Hershey’s ice cream, and it was open to all law enforcement-connected agencies throughout Rowan County.

The event’s main sponsor was Powles Staton Funeral Home, and the chief cook was Register of Deeds John Brindle, who also is a deputy. They prepared to serve 400 between 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

“If one police officer came, it was worth it,” said Will Staton of Powles Staton Funeral Home. “The police officers need all the support they can get.”

Powles Staton’s Russ Roakes, who served as a lead organizer for the event, said other sponsors, including Brindle, the Fair Association, Dr. Melanie Denton of S.E.E. (Salisbury Eyecare & Eyewear) and Bradshaw Financial Planning, immediately offered to help when he contacted them with the idea for an appreciation lunch.

Within two days, “We were ready to roll,” Roakes said.

“From what happened in the first 30 minutes,” Roakes added of the nice turnout, “it will be annual.”

David Toeppe of Bradshaw Financial Planning worked on the serving line and also helped with the food preparation.

“We just wanted to show our appreciation to the police and law enforcement for everything they do,” Toeppe said.

Jonathan Brindle Jr. and Shane Aldridge were helping Brindle in the hot, outside job of cooking the hamburgers. It was the largest crowd he had ever cooked for, Brindle said.

“They (law enforcement officers) are good people, and they have a servants’ heart,” Brindle said.

Others helping prepare the food in the kitchen were Chris Cranford, Marlene Mills and Alan Mills.

For the lunch, five long tables were set up inside the new, air-conditioned Hubert and Blanche Ritchie Foundation exhibit hall/events center at the fairgrounds, so things were comfortable. Many of the officers dined with their portable radios on the table beside them, in case they had to leave in a hurry on a call.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Detective Todd Sides of the Salisbury Police Department said. “It’s nice to be able to come to a safe environment and eat and know people still care.”

Detective R.W. Meismer of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office added, “This is great, what they’re doing for the officers.”

Roakes noted the summer has had its share of negative publicity for law enforcement in other parts of the country.

“We just thought it was time to do something positive for these guys,” he said.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

Comments

Local

Catawba holds baccalaureate services for Class of 2021

News

$9M settlement for two men wrongfully sent to death row

Nation/World

China lands spacecraft on Mars in latest advance for its space program

Business

Gas crunch hits Washington; Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in Bitcoin ransom

Coronavirus

State mostly returns to normal operations after 15 months of lockdowns, restrictions

Crime

Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it

Crime

Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

Crime

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday