Dundalk Police honored by Fatima Knights
The sizzle, smell and sight of burgers and dogs hitting a red-hot grill greeted Dundalk Precinct 12 police officers coming onto shift at the Eastwood station on Monday.
Manning the grill were
members of the Our Lady of Fatima Knights of Columbus (KOC) Council #10137 based out of Our Lady of Fatima Church on East Pratt Street.
Each year on Sept. 11, Fatima KOC members show their appreciation for local law enforcement by holding a cookout for first responders. For the past 13 years, the group has held the event at the Baltimore (City) Police Southeastern District on Eastern Avenue. With the new Dundalk precinct just down the road in Eastwood, however, the Knights decided to welcome their new neighbors in grand style.
From now on, noted Grand Knight August “Buzzy” Stockman, the Knights will host their Sept. 11 cookout in the county on odd years and the city in even years.
For Stockman and his fellow Knights, the event is all about honoring those officers who give so much to the community.
“We are a charitable organization who believes in giving back to the community,” Stockman noted.
After the uproar over the moving of the Dundalk precinct from Merritt Boulevard to the former Eastwood Elementary School last year, the Fatima KOC decided to show the Precinct 12 officers how much they are appreciated.
“They got a bit of bad press,” Stockman explained.
In an era in which officers are under greater criticism and scrutiny, Stockman feels that such outreach is more important than ever before.
“We feel police are getting a bad rap, he noted, adding, “They put up with a lot.”
Monday’s cookout featured hotdogs, hamburgers and a variety of salads and sides for officers (and local firefighters, who were also invited) to enjoy. According to Stockman, both the turnout and the reception were outstanding.
“We’ve been completely overwhelmed” by the officers’ response, he explained.
Stockman and his Knights also took the opportunity to present a certificate of appreciation to Dundalk Precinct 12 Captain Orlando Lilly and his officers for their efforts keeping the commu- nity and its residents safe.
In remarks to those assembled, Captain Lilly evoked the image of a three-legged stool.
Without all three legs — in this case, community, government and law enforcement — the stool is unstable and cannot stand.
Lilly expressed his appreciation for the Fatima Knights and all those community members who support local law enforcement.
“I’m more grateful for the opportunity to work with this community,” Lilly said, telling the Knights, “We don’t take what you did today lightly.”
For his part, Stockman offered the KOC’s assistance to anyone who needs it across the community.
In addition to their officer outreach program, the Fatima Knights collect winter coats for children in need and host an annual Tootsie Roll drive that benefits children with special needs.
They also raise funds to purchase sonogram machines for crisis pregnancy centers as part of a statewide KOC program.
Currently, the Knights are selling raffle tickets for the chance to win a new Mustang vehicle. Proceeds benefit the council’s charity and scholarship programs.
For more information on Our Lady of Fatima Knights of Columbus Council #10137, call Grand Knight August “Buzzy” Stockman at 443-690-2452, District Deputy Jim Bocklage at 443-683-9498 or Deputy Grand Knight Chris Stachlinski at 443-928-5865.
Dundalk Precinct 12 Police Captain Orlando Lilly (far left), shook hands with Our Lady of Fatima Knights of Columbus Grand Knight Buzzy Stockman as Lilly and his officers accepted a certificate of appreciation on Monday.