Officers offer special night for Valentine’s
Do you ever wish there was something you could do for Valentine’s Day that was more than a night out? Something that was not only special for your significant other but also for your community?
Well your heart is in the right place, and that place is in Exeter this Saturday, Feb. 8. The 2nd annual Exeter Policeman’s Ball will begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Exeter Memorial Building. Tickets are $100 per couple and includes a reverse drawing ticket, dinner and live entertainment by Run 4 Cover.
“It’s a good deal and a good time,” said Officer Ashley Guinn. “I know everyone had a lot of fun last year.”
Sponsored by the Exeter Police Officer’s Association, proceeds from the event will benefit the department’s K-9 unit, Explorer Troop and community service activities by the Police Officer’s Association. Most of the money raised will go toward purchasing two K-9s for the department as well as ongoing costs for the unit including dog food, veterinarian bills, equipment and continued training for the dogs. Despite a rough 2013, where Exeter retired one K9 and lost another to stomach cancer, the department recently announced all three K9 units are on active duty.
After losing his K9 Cezar to cancer, Officer Mark Durkee is now working with Meeka. Officer Brett Ingelhart is currently working with K9 Abel after his first dog, Bianca, was forced to retire last year due to age. The other active K9 unit is Officer Josh Lowry and his K9 Aries.
The rest of the funds will be split between the Explorer Troop and the Police Officer’s Association. Explorer programs offer youth ages 14-20 interested in a career in law enforcement an opportunity to receive hands-on training and mentoring by officers in their local law enforcement agencies. Explorers in Exeter are often seen helping with traffic control and crowd monitoring at large events in town. They also go on ride-alongs with the officers and learn police codes and procedures giving them a head start before entering the Police Academy. There are currently 10 students in Exeter’s Explorer program. The money is used to pay for uniforms, equipment as well as fees and travel for competitions.
The least known of the three beneficiaries of the event is the Exeter Police Officer’s Association. The association is a non-profit entity that provides scholarships and Christmas presents for low-income families each year. The association normally awards two or three $500 scholarships per year and sponsors two or three families for Christmas each year.
In addition to being a good time for a good cause, Officer Ashley Guinn said the Policeman’s Ball gives members of the community a chance to see officers out of uniform.
“People get to see another side of us and get to know us as people,” Guinn said. “That was important for me and I think for the community as well.”
Guinn said about 160 people, including half of Exeter’s sworn officers, attended last year’s inaugural event and helped raise nearly $9,000. She said the goal this year is to sell 200 tickets to the event. Tickets for the inaugural Exeter Policeman’s Ball are $100 per couple and are available at the Exeter Police Department, located 100 N. C St. in Exeter.
EPD is still looking for table sponsorships and silent auction items. Table sponsorships are $1,000 and include four tickets and your name on the table. Silent auction items should be of at least $25 value. For more information, call the EPD at 559-592-3101.