JEFFERSON-In light of the recent negative attention aimed at police officers nationwide, two local men are organizing an event to show Ashe County law enforcement how much they are appreciated by the High Country community.
The inaugural Ashe County Law Enforcement Appreciation Day will be held from 5- 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28 behind the Ashe County Sheriff’s Department in Jefferson.
There is no charge for admission, but donations are greatly appreciated.
The collaborative effort – spearheaded by Jim Barlow and Artie McGlohon – started with a simple conversation.
Barlow, a local Shriner, was speaking with a fellow Brother in the organization about the need to show a unified front by the community to local law enforcement following widespread media coverage of officers involved in less than a favorable light.
“It’s not putting them in a positive light,” Barlow recalls saying to his friend. “We need to do something to show how we appreciate the job they do and how they protect us.”
Barlow was then put in touch with McGlohon, who was immediately accepting of the idea.
The event has already caught the attention of local and state leaders.
Ashe County Sheriff James Williams is scheduled to be in attendance to make a short address. U.S. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx will also make the drive to Jefferson to share her remarks and comments about the importance of law enforcement to the community.
And what small town event would be complete without some southern treats and hospitality? Hot dogs, potato chips and door prizes round out the festivities at the Sunday afternoon party.
Any leftover donations that aren’t used to pay for the event itself will be given to the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office for the purchase of a new K-9 unit.
“It’s time (for) us as citizens to stand up and say we need to be involved in certain ways,” said Barlow.
For more information, call Artie McGlohon at (336) 977-5297 or Jim Barlow at (336) 877-7450.
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.