Secretary holds National Night Out and town barbecue

 

When town officials say “young and old alike” enjoy the yearly town get-together, they mean it. This group of seniors had a great time. The oldest Secretary resident, centenarian Virginia Carroll, 2nd from right, was a star of the show.

When town officials say “young and old alike” enjoy the yearly town get-together, they mean it. This group of seniors had a great time. The oldest Secretary resident, centenarian Virginia Carroll, 2nd from right, was a star of the show.

SECRETARY — It was one of those glorious summer evenings with a slight breeze, blue skies, and just enough warmth to be comfortable in tank tops and shorts. For 10 years, according to Secretary Council President Henry Short, it has never rained on the annual Cook Out and National Night Out. On Aug. 2 the weather was perfect. So perfect, in fact, that at least 125 people attended at some point between 6-8 p.m. “It’s been a steady flow,” said Mr. Short.
Town officials participate because, Mr. Short explained, “it’s our way of giving back to the community. They’ve elected us as their town officials and it’s something we can do for them.”
Dorchester County sheriff James Phillips always enjoys the annual Night Out. “I’m a people person,” he says, “I love it!” He adds, “It’s nice to come back to Secretary. With the current climate of policing in the country these types of events are important so officers can come into the community. By meeting the citizens we serve they understand that we’re human, too. And they get to put a face to a name. A lot of the children are getting hand out materials tonight and their first exposure to law enforcement is a positive one rather than something negative that happens on the street.”
Sgt. Henry Hernandez, community police supervisor with the Sheriff’s department, has participated in the Night Out event every year since it began. He says, “It’s something I feel is important to get the community together; get everybody out. I’ve been in crime prevention for 17, 18 years and this way we can touch base with the kids in the summer when we don’t see them during the school year.”
State Police Trooper Detective Sgt. Mitch Park supervises the criminal work of the Easton Barrack for Talbot, Caroline, and Dorchester counties. He oversees what the troopers investigate and takes care of the evidence. Sgt. Park says there are two troopers in Dorchester County at any given time. “With two people in this county we try to visit everybody. I came here in 1985. There were two troopers then and there are still two troopers in each county.” Duties are shared with the Sheriff’s office and the two law enforcement agencies cooperate very closely.
Why do the state troopers attend the annual event? “We don’t get to socialize with the people that often,” says Sgt. Park. “Usually we’re responding to an accident or a domestic or enforcement of traffic laws. But here we get a chance to kind of relax and get to know people better.” He also got a chance to chat with retired trooper and north county resident Glen Payne.
An Eastern Shore resident of Talbot County, State Trooper 1st class Kent serves Prince George’s County in a specialized division called Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. He says of National Night Out, “We kind of come down to the community level so they can get to know us personally.”
Secretary’s annual event was nothing short of perfect this year and was a reminder that small town America is alive and well in Dorchester County.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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