Hospital auxiliary board donates $3,000 to Hamlet PD

Terry: “The life you save might be mine.”

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

HAMLET — They might be stiff, bulky and uncomfortable — and that’s when they’re properly sized — but bullet-proof safety vests are a necessary part of today’s police uniform, Hamlet Mayor and retired North Carolina trooper Bill Bayless said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Bayless addressed Sandhills Regional Medical Center CEO David Clay and four members of the hospital’s Auxiliary board Wednesday morning as Auxiliary board members — Aletha Lanier, Mitch Greene, Sybil Pattan and Charlotte Russ — presented the Hamlet Police Department with a $3,000 donation. The city was represented by Bayless, City Manager Marcus Abernethy, Capt. Steve Taylor, Officer Marc Terry and Linda Bayless.

The funds will be used to help the Hamlet Police Department purchase new vests. Abernethy explained the vests, made with DuPont’s Kevlar material, have a guaranteed service life of five years. The department has 20 officers, including one stationed full-time at Richmond Community College. Each vest costs between $500 and $600. The $3,000 donation will help cover nearly one-third of the city’s total replacement costs.

Officers are routinely dispatched to the Hamlet hospital to provide assistance, hospital officials said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Hamlet Mayor Bill Bayless offers Aletha Lanier, president of the Sandhills Regional Medical Center Auxiliary Board, a letter of thanks for a $3,000 donation.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Hamlet Mayor Bill Bayless offers Aletha Lanier, president of the Sandhills Regional Medical Center Auxiliary Board, a letter of thanks for a $3,000 donation.

Terry, who recently resumed his career with the Hamlet Police Department after working as Richmond County Schools Special Police chief, said the vest he had on Wednesday was a borrowed one from one of the department’s detectives.

He told Auxiliary members that “the life you save might be mine.”

Auxiliary Board President Aletha Lanier said the board’s decision to donate to the Hamlet Police Department was an easy one — and a personal one. She’s married to a law enforcement officer.

“You all are dear to my heart,” Lanier said.

Lanier explained the funding came from proceeds from gift shop sales and bake sales, as well as a percent of drinks sold in the canteen. Along with this first donation to the Hamlet Police Department, the board regularly donates to diabetes-relates efforts, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, making Christmas better for children at the hospital and a college scholarship for graduating high school seniors.

The auxiliary is an all-volunteer force of about 20 people, Lanier said. Their roles include operating the gift shop and greeting patients and visitors. Lanier stressed the need for additional volunteers. Before a new volunteer is accepted, they must past a background check and drug screen. Otherwise, “it’s not that hard,” she said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Hamlet City Manager Marcus Abernethy, center, accepts a $3,000 donation from Sandhills Regional Medical Center Auxiliary Board Treasurer Sybil Pattan, left, and Aletha Lanier, Auxiliary president.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Hamlet City Manager Marcus Abernethy, center, accepts a $3,000 donation from Sandhills Regional Medical Center Auxiliary Board Treasurer Sybil Pattan, left, and Aletha Lanier, Auxiliary president.

The auxiliary’s role is important, Clay noted.

“Without them, we wouldn’t be as good as we are,” he said.

Waters, volunteer chief of the Richmond County Rescue Squad, expressed his appreciation for the auxiliary.

“I know you work hard,” Waters said.

Lanier noted the police department can return the favor by supporting its next bake sale.

“Just make sure you have doughnuts,” Taylor quipped.

Russ, a four-year Auxiliary volunteer, said she figures the donation to the Hamlet Police Department is “one of the best things we’ve ever done.”

* * * 

Abernethy and Waters acknowledged the city had received a grant from the North Carolina Governer’s Crime Commission to help purchase body cameras to be worn by each of the Hamlet Police Department’s 20 officers.

The approximately $7,300 grant will cover the complete cost of purchasing the cameras. Storing video has not yet been addressed, Abernethy and Waters said Wednesday. Both men are working to draft a policy that could be ready to present to the City Council in July or August. One issue the policy will attempt to address is if the video footage will be considered a public record.

“We want to be transparent,” Waters said.

Abernethy suggested there could be times when a video isn’t “immediately” released, such as in an ongoing investigation or a personnel-related issue. Abernethy acknowledged the laws around police body cameras and footage from those cameras continue to evolve and that any city’s policy would be amended to reflect changes in law.

 

 

Filed in: Hamlet, Latest Headlines, News, Public safety

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