“Always looking to give back to the community:” Breakfast fundraiser benefits local law enforcement

Published 12:10 am Friday, May 3, 2024

ROCKWELL — Powles Staton Funeral Home hosted a “Breakfast With A Cop,” fundraiser on Thursday, with 100 percent of the money raised being donated to the Rockwell Police Department and Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

Russ Roakes, who works with Powles Staton, said that the idea for Thursday’s fundraiser came after conversations with both law enforcement agencies, who said that there were some items on both of their wish lists that they could not fit into the year’s budget.

“We’re always looking for ways to give back to the community, and I spoke to (Rockwell) Chief (Cody) Trexler and Sheriff (Travis) Allen, and told them we just wanted to raise some money for them and help them out by buying some equipment. They were on board immediately,” said Roakes.

The sheriff’s office is hoping to use the extra funding from Thursday to buy new equipment for the county’s K-9 program, said Corporal Heather Bailey. She also said that it was wonderful having Powles-Staton willing to assist the sheriff’s office anytime they needed help, even if the help was not aimed at the deputies.

“Anything that we need, or anything we need to promote, they’re 100 percent backing us on everything. With me being with the sheriff’s office, I also back them 100 percent. Me and Russ, we’ve been doing this together for many years as far as the toys go for children that need help at Christmas. We work very well together,” said Bailey.

Rockwell Chief of Police Cody Trexler said that when he talked to Roakes recently, he had expressed his desire to add a drone to the department’s toolbelt to assist with any search and rescues in town and nearby in the county.
“It’s common now for a drone to be used instead of calling a helicopter. The mobility of it, to get it on scene quickly and put it up in the air. It’s useful, whether it’s tracking a suspect that’s jumped and ran, whether it’s a missing person, a juvenile that’s walked away from home. It would have been used recently several times,” said Trexler.

Roakes said that the Rowan County Register of Deeds office, led by John Brindle, has been instrumental in performing the company’s many fundraisers aimed at assisting local veterans and law enforcement. 

“We started a long time ago. Before, when any of our deputies would get sick with cancer or other stuff we would start a fundraiser and do something for them. That’s just carried on from there and it’s just been a lot of fun doing stuff for them. In some circumstances, it’s not the fun part but just being able to do something for them,” Brindle said.

Brindle said that he was more than happy to assist the funeral home because he has a deep connection to both law enforcement and veterans. Brindle serves as a deputy with the sheriff’s office and both of his grandfathers and his father both served. Brindle’s son is also in the military and is currently stationed in Arizona.

“I’m proud of our veterans, I’m proud of my boy, my dad and my grandpas for what they’ve done. Our veterans and our law enforcement mean a lot to me, me being a deputy also. We want to do everything we can for them,” said Brindle.

Fifty percent of the funding raised from the even will go towards the sheriff’s office and the other 50 percent will go towards the Rockwell Police Department. Roakes said that Powles-Staton had served more than 250 lunches two hours into the event, assisted by deputies, Rockwell officers and register of deeds staff. Many of those orders came from large orders from Cecil Whitley with the Whitley, Jordan, Inge & Rary law offices in Salisbury and from staff with the Rockwell Elementary School.

Bailey said that many of the cars that had come through while she was handing out breakfasts did not actually want the food, instead stopping by solely to donate and offer words of support.

Roakes said that he thought much of the support came from the added attention towards law enforcement in the wake of a shooting in Charlotte that left four officers dead on Monday. Trexler said that while the community had rallied around the department in the wake of the shooting, he believed that the people he worked with everyday would have been willing to help them out regardless.

“Rockwell is blessed. Rowan County as a whole is blessed. We have a great community that stands behind us. We’ve had an overwhelming support come to the police department, just to even express their condolences for what has happened because it is a brotherhood and a sisterhood. It’s commonly referred to as the ‘thin blue line,’ we may not agree everyday but we’re still there. I think it has helped, but truthfully I think this community would have done what they have today regardless of the situation,” said Trexler.