Secretary takes part in National Night Out

MD-secretary joining 3x-080515

Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz
Over 100 people attended Secretary’s National Night Out and cookout to gather with neighbors and meet the folks who protect them on a daily basis. Volunteer firefighters, Sheriff James Phillips and deputies, plus members of the Maryland State Police introduced themselves to residents and enjoyed food and fellowship.

SECRETARY — “It was a great turnout,” according to Jennifer Rehbert, Secretary’s commission president. Over 100 people attended this year’s town cookout and National Night Out. “Everyone was eating and having a great time, said Ms. Rehbert. The yearly event blossomed from lights-on vigils to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer and better places to live.

Secretary combined its participation in the national event to inform the public about various police and safety organizations in the community with its annual cookout for town residents. Two people who really enjoyed the evening were Dorchester County Sheriff James Phillips and his deputies Cpl. Wes Jones and Sgt. Enrique Hernandez who spent the evening chatting with youngsters and giving out stickers, pencils, and other memorabilia imprinted with anti-crime messages.

According to the sheriff, the evening “gets people out to mingle with their friends and neighbors and talk with people in the whole town in one location.” He says the evening gives law enforcement a chance to interact with communities and show that “we are humans, too.”

Sheriff Phillips noted that his department works closely with Maryland State Troopers in crime fighting efforts. Troopers Lt. Col. Jerry Jones, TFC Charles Cummings, 1st Sgt. Stacey Gappert, and Trooper Isaac Carraway Jr. willingly answered questions from a curious public about what they do and how they do it.

Trooper Carraway is a “rookie,” and a dedicated one at that. After leaving the Army, he joined the state troopers. “I liked the uniform,” he chuckles, “so I thought I’d go for it. I love it. Every minute of it.” He must! He commutes daily for 3 ½ hours from his home in Philadelphia to the Eastern Shore. But that will end soon when he moves to Maryland.

Law enforcement was only part of the evening. The Secretary Volunteer Fire Company brought trucks and ambulances to the occasion. Adding to the decibels from some great karaoke, fire trucks drove through town with flashing lights and occasional sirens carrying excited youngsters and their parents.

Company President Lenny Pfeffer said “tonight we’re here to share with the community the fire equipment that people have bought with donations and some tax monies. Great being out and meeting the citizens and giving a little of what they have given to us.”

The 2015 National Night Out/town cookout was one for the books. It was great!

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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