Back the Badge: police get a free lunch
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.
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.
Multiple agencies participate in the first Back the Badge event, Wednesday, July 27, an effort to support local law enforcement.