LUMBERTON — Residents of Wesley Pines Retirement Community in Lumberton showed law enforcement officers from across Robeson County on Wednesday that they are appreciated for their tireless efforts to protect the community.
About 150 officers from the Lumberton Police Department, Robeson County Sheriff’s Office and the N.C. Highway Patrol were treated to a lunch by Wesley Pine residents who said the event was a chance to let the officers know that their work is not overlooked.
Wade Rozier, executive director at Wesley Pines, said the idea to have the luncheon for local law enforcement officers was raised at a managers meeting of the retirement community’s staff.
“Someone mentioned that with all of the things that have been happening lately showing disrespect for law enforcement that we needed to do something that show we in Robeson County appreciate what our officers do,” he said. “The residents here come from a generation that had respect for our police. We decided a luncheon would be a good way for everyone here to get together with local law enforcement officers to speak with them and show them that we care … . These officers are a great group of men and women.”
Marguerite Morton, a Wesley Pines resident for three years, was at the door greeting the officers as they arrived.
“This is great,” she said. “Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. We are showing the officers that we appreciate that they are protecting us.”
Clyde McKee, a member of Wesley Pines Local Advisory Committee, said that recent events that have taken place across the country show how much a community really depends on their law enforcement officers for protection.
“We need them to maintain the safety within the community that we now have and that we often take for granted,” McKee said. “Safety is not only a given anymore.”
Robeson County Sheriff Ken Sealey said that he wanted to thank the Wesley Pines residents and staff for taking the time to have a luncheon for the officers in appreciation for what they do.
“This provides not just a meal for us but a chance for members of our different agencies to get together to talk and share information,” he said. “That doesn’t happen much.”
Detective Deana Locklear was one of several officers from the Lumberton Police Department who attended the event.
“I love it. It shows appreciation and support for law enforcement,” she said. “It also helps to boost our morale.”
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.