The Newcomerstown Historical Society hosted law enforcement officers from surrounding areas for a dinner and a short program to honor them and show their appreciation on Thursday evening.
Law Enforcement officers from Coshocton, Guernsey and Tuscarawas counties were present at the event to celebrate National Law Enforcement Day.
Harley Dakin, president of the historical society introduced Newcomerstown Mayor Patrick Cadle, who read a proclamation recognizing National Law Enforcement Day and the officers present.
"We would like to thank you for your service ... it’s important because your job keeps us safe, but your job also ensures progress for our future. A positive progress for our future no matter where you are," Cadle said.
The keynote speaker was Ohio Highway Patrol Superintendent Lt. Col. Richard Fambro.
"I would also like to express my sincere appreciation for all the law enforcement officers here tonight," Fambro said. "We are the collaborative spirit that makes this world who we are and we protect those who need protection and I want to thank to you all for what you do."
Fambro also talked about collaboration of all the agencies. "Our work is among the noblest of professions: We are the protectors of those who cannot protect themselves, the helpers of those who need help and the defender of the laws that maintain order in our society," Fambro said. "It takes a special kind of person to work in law enforcement, when most run from danger, officers run toward it, without courage there would be no security and without your sacrifice there would be no justice."
Lt. Melanie Appleman of Cambridge Ohio Highway patrol thought it was a wonderful night of appreciation, fellowship, education and laughter.
"We are blessed to live in such an amazing community. We are stronger when we work together," Appleman said. "We are so incredibly humbled by this event and want to thank everyone who had a part in such a wonderful dinner and presentation."
Vane Scott III gave a presentation called "The Many Faces of Old Glory," which tells the story of how the American Flag design came about and the many version and changes it went through.
All law enforcement officers were presented with Blue Line flags and letters of appreciation. The letters were written by students at The Victory Assembly class of Newcomerstown, Dover Elementary, Sacred Heart Elementary and Coshocton Christian School.
Tuscarawas County Sheriff Orvis Campbell, said "The idea that they would go through all this work, I mean there was a lot of organization for this, to provide dinner, provide entertainment and to bring law enforcement from three counties and Lt. Col. Fambro here from Columbus." he said. "It was phenomenal. So, I’m leaving having seen something much greater than what I expected when we got here and it’s very much appreciated. I’m going to be thankful to this museum and their volunteers for a very long time."
Officer Opha Lawson, of the Newcomerstown Police Department, said "That our little community could do something like that with nothing but volunteers, that’s just awesome."
New Philadelphia Police Chief Michael Goodwin, also thought the event was great.
"Too often we are shown kind of in a negative light and today being Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, my guys, my gals and myself are very appreciative when somebody goes out of their way. We are all so busy in our personal lives, so when somebody goes out of their way to take a moment out of their busy to come to the office to shake hands with my guys and my gals, it reaches touches us," Goodwin said.
Captain Detective Chad Mowrer thought it was an absolute honor that another community outside of his own would take the time to organize the event and unite the officers from three counties and show them that kind of appreciation.
"None of us have chosen this career for the recognition or the recognition by the community, but we all enjoy helping others and too often in today’s society, we are seen in a negative light," Mowrer said. "To see this small community come together and honor all of us is such and honor and pleasure."
Guernsey County Sheriff Jeff Paden said he appreciated the event, as well. "That was a big deal to invite area law enforcement and several counties to the event," Paden said. "I want o thank all my fellow law enforcement officers. I thought it was a great experience and felt it was very genuine to have them think of us like that and the respect that they gave us was really nice."
Ohio Highway Patrol Assistant Superintendent and Newcomerstown native, Lt. Col. Marla Gaskill represented the Columbus headquarters. Gaskill grew up in the area and graduated from Newcomerstown High School.
"I knew many of the officers that were here today but, it doesn't matter where we are in the state when it comes to law enforcement we are all partners in safety and homeland security. There are many things that we are partners in so it’s great with the collaboration we have between the many agencies whether its a small town, county, state or federal partners even," Gaskill said.
"It’s just wonderful, especially when it’s so positive and this was a positive evening. Anytime we get an opportunity like that to just interact and with the local community its amazing. It always feels good it doesn't matter who it is to have a thank you and a little recognition," she said.
For Fambro, the event was a humbling one.
"The heartbeat of what we are about is this, the support you see here, in big cities it doesn't happen this way," Fambro said. "So for a community to invite us and share the type of appreciation that was shown here tonight, it shows what that collaborative spirit was about and shows that communities like this support our law enforcement," he said. "There are opinions everywhere that say by and large the public does not support law enforcement, but tonight shows you that they do and it doesn't matter the size of the community or the number of people that live there. It shows that they support what we do and that is why we do what we do, so it was cool to be here."
Agencies represented include, the Cambridge and New Philadelphia posts of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, along with representatives from the Columbus Headquarters, Coshocton, Guernsey and Tuscarawas Sheriffs offices, and Dover, Newcomerstown, New Philadelphia and West Lafayette Police departments.
Also in attendance were volunteers with the Newcomerstown Historical Society, Shepards Assembly Church, Guernsey and Tuscarawas County prosecutors, Instructors and students from the Buckeye Career Center and Coshocton County Law Enforcement Training academies, Eastern Regional Director from the Office of the Attorney General and Newcomerstown Mayor Pat Cadle.