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Showing their appreciation

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Middlesex County Sheriff David P. Bushey and deputies enjoyed a lunch Tuesday provided by an Urbanna mother and daughter who wanted to show their appreciation to the law enforcement officers. From left, the deputies include Trip Ashby, Michael Smith (seated), Jim Ellis, Kylie Marino and her mother Catherine (seated), deputy Earnest Robinson and Sheriff Bushey. (Photo by Tom Chillemi)

by Tom Chillemi

The recent violence aimed at police officers has most people concerned.

Thirteen-year-old Kylie Marino of Urbanna wanted to show her appreciation to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO). She thought about making a card and sending it. Her mother Catherine suggested she make a poster . . . and the idea grew into providing lunch for the MSO.

On Tuesday deputies were surprised when Kylie and Catherine delivered lunch to the deputies’ work office at the MSO. “Isn’t that sweet,” said deputy Earnest Robinson. “That’s marvelous!”

Spread on the table were sandwiches from Chick-fil-A and homemade pies from Buttermilk Bake Shop in Petersburg, owned by Catherine’s brother, Ben Cronk. “That’s really nice,” said deputy Jim Ellis, who has a black stripe across his deputy’s badge in honor of slain officers.

“We wanted to show our appreciation and support,” said Kylie. “Police officers are supposed to protect us and not be threatened.”

Catherine added, “We wanted to do something positive. We live in a great community and wanted to thank them [law enforcement officers] for all they have done in the past.”

Middlesex Sheriff David P. Bushey thanked the mother and daughter for their thoughtful gesture, and gave both of them a “Challenge Coin,” which has the Middlesex County Seal on one side and the MSO seal on the other.

“We appreciate the community’s support,” said Sheriff Bushey, “and we hope the citizens understand what we are going through.”

In the wake of police shooting, Sheriff Bushey said he has heard of deputies resigning in other jurisdictions. However, he noted that not one of his deputies has left.

Sheriff Bushey said Middlesex is comparatively safe but does get some threats coming from other areas of the region. “The guys [deputies] are all vigilant, more than ever,” he said.

He added that Middlesex is not entirely a “sheltered community” because it has a major highway running through it.

The MSO is getting daily updates on threats, said Sheriff Bushey.

Kylie said the recent violence scares her. “I just hope it will get better,” she said.

Prayer vigil
A prayer vigil was held on the Historic Middlesex Courthouse grounds in Saluda last Saturday. The event was organized by the Middlesex County Democratic Committee to increase awareness that “all lives matter,” said committee president Hallie Holmes.

The recent shootings of police in Baton Rouge and Dallas and the recent shooting of two young black men by police have created unrest throughout the entire country, said Holmes on Tuesday.

“With all the unrest going on in this country right now we just wanted to let everyone know that we believe all lives are important,” said Holmes.

New Hope Fellowship minister Rev. Leonard Edloe, Middlesex deputy sheriff Melinda Hart, Middlesex County Administrator Matt Walker and Lower United Methodist Church minister Rev. Ileana Rosario all spoke on the importance of the nation “coming together” in these trying times.

Holmes said about 40 people attended the event. “It was a good and wonderful atmosphere and I think the message was clear that there is a great deal of love in this country,” she said.

posted 07.20.2016

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