Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery was a bustle of excitement and anticipation as members of law enforcement and their friends and family gathered as the Adopt-A-Cop event got underway on Friday.
According to the event’s organizer, Melonie Knight Davis, said the goal was to have 112 law enforcement officers in Bladen County adopted, some officers were adopted twice and in some cases, some officers were adopted as many as three times. All three K-9s were adopted, as well.
When asked how she felt about the response to Adopt-A-Cop, Davis said, “It is incredible.”
In an emotional heartfelt statement, Davis spoke of how the wives of law enforcement officers feel a sense of relief when they hear the velcro of their uniform when their loved one returns home from their assigned shift. She began by thanking all of those who attended the ceremony.
Her heartfelt statement follows:
“Bladen County Adopt-A-Cop was founded by several of the law enforcement officers’ wives in our community, including myself.
As law enforcement wives, we are accustomed to telling our officers on a regular basis that we love them and are proud of what they do.. for us, for our families, and most selflessly for our community.. all while not knowing whether they will walk back through the door at the end of their shift. It’s amazing the relief that we as wives feel every time we hear the sound of Velcro, signaling that they’re home and are taking off their vests.
Our mission was for Bladen County residents to be able to extend that same support to our law enforcement officers.
At a time when law enforcement casualties is at an incomprehensible high, we want the officers here in our community to know that there are more of us that are with them than against them. This has been evidenced by the outpouring of involvement from our businesses, churches, and residents. In less than 12 hours from the commencement of our program, we had all 112 officers in Bladen County had been adopted. Within 72 hours, every officer in the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Bladenboro Police Department, Elizabethtown Police Department, White Lake Police Department, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, and North Carolina State Parks had been adopted twice! These officers all endure continuous rigorous training and are passionate about their jobs. However, in recent times they have been targeted and terrorized because of their passions.. because of their professions.. They endure it because it’s a career they’ve been called to do.. a career dedicated to serve and protect.. you, the person standing beside you, the person standing beside them.. and me. Law enforcement used to be an admired role, but has become a thankless job. To the officers here: As you can see, Bladen County appreciates you.. each and every one of you.
We are certain each of you will feel the overwhelming, incredible support that our community has for you when you receive the blessings bestowed upon you by your adopters. We hope that you’ll read each letter or note of encouragement and the thoughtfulness written in each word will radiate through your souls.”
Davis said the mission of Adopt-A-Cop was for the citizens to be able to thank the officers for their service. Each gift contained a card or a letter to the officer.
I believe that I speak for all of us as law enforcement wives and organizers of the Bladen County Adopt-A-Cop program, when I tell you that this has been the one of the most amazing and humbling experiences of our lives.. to see the outpouring of love and support from the Bladen County community to our law enforcement officers. “
Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Warren Hill closed the brief recognition with a prayer.
Jenny Hair took a moment to speak. She said that while she was not a law enforcement officer, after serving for 20 years as a dispatcher, she felt like they were all her family.
She honored Davis for her hard work and dedication to Adopt-A-Cop.