Back the Badge: po­lice get a free lunch

Record Observer - - Front Page - By HANNAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — Lo­cal com­mu­nity mem­bers Tam­mie Joyner and Josh Schontz of Smoke, Rat­tle and Roll de­cided Wed­nes­day, July 27, would be the day to “Back the Badge” and show their sup­port to lo­cal law en­force­ment with a free lunch.

Joyner, who is a re­tired para­medic her­self and has lots of friends and fam­ily serv­ing in law en­force­ment, said she got the idea when she saw a post on Schontz’s Smoke, Rat­tle and Roll Face­book page, that said “Back the Badge.” She con­tacted Schontz and asked if she could do­nate money so that if a po­lice of­fi­cer stopped by his food truck he would be able to pro­vide them with a free meal.

Schontz, whose truck is of­ten found at the Queen­stown Out­lets and at the end of North Lib­erty Street in Centreville, was re­cep­tive to the idea, but was quick to take it a step fur­ther. Joyner said, Schontz told her, let’s do it for ev­ery­one, give all law en­force­ment of­fi­cers a free lunch one day.

The idea took off from there said Joyner. She and Schontz reached out to lo­cal busi­nesses and re­ceived spon­sor­ships and do­na­tions from com­mu­nity mem­bers. They then broad­cast the mes­sage to Queen Anne’s County res­i­dents and in­vited the Centreville Po­lice Depart­ment, Mary­land State Po­lice, Queen Anne’s County Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions, Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and any other law en­force­ment of­fi­cers, “no mat­ter what depart­ment you serve,” to please stop by, show a badge and get a free lunch.

Joyner and Schontz set up the Smoke, Rat­tle and Roll truck in the park­ing lot of the Sher­iff’s Of­fice, and the pub­lic was of­fered to pur­chase lunch and sign ban­ners show­ing their sup­port to lo­cal law en­force­ment.

“This is some­thing small we can do, and we were for­tu­nate to have the com­mu­nity back us big time,” said Schontz, “We have the op­por­tu­nity to touch a lot of lives, by be­ing pos­i­tive and let­ting our law en­force­ment know we sup­port them.”

Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann said, “What a morale booster this is, we are grate­ful to have the sup­port of our com­mu­nity, and couldn’t do it with­out them.”

Hof­mann con­tin­ued, “We lay our lives on the line (for the com­mu­nity) and to see them have our back is a great feel­ing. Other com­mu­ni­ties have not been as for­tu­nate as we are, and we are feel­ing for them and keep­ing them in our thoughts and prayers.”

Schontz and Joyner said they hope to make this a yearly event.

PHOTO BY HANNAH COMBS

From left, Queen Anne’s Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann, Josh Schontz and Tam­mie Joyner.

From left, Cody Hayes, Mike Hayes and Noah Hayes sign their names and thanks to the ban­ners to be given to Centreville Po­lice Depart­ment, Mary­land State Po­lice Centreville Bar­rack and the Queen Anne’s Of­fice of the Sher­iff.

Ben Samp­son from Queen Anne’s Cor­rec­tions signs his raf­fle ticket for a chance to win one of two snack bas­kets also of­fered as part of the Back the Badge event.

PHO­TOS BY HANNAH COMBS

Mul­ti­ple agen­cies par­tic­i­pate in the first Back the Badge event, Wed­nes­day, July 27, an ef­fort to sup­port lo­cal law en­force­ment.

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