Skate With A Cop Event To Help Area Departments
West Pittston police Chief Michael Turner intends to be a good sport and hit the skating rink with members of the community at next week’s Skate with a Cop event.
“I’m going to attempt it, but I can’t promise I’ll be on two feet,” Turner said with a laugh.
Members of law enforcement from throughout the area will be on hand for the event on Feb. 7 at Skateaway on Blackman Street in Wilkes-Barre Twp.
At the event, the organizer DJ Donnie Evans of Forty Fort will present departments with cutting-edge ballistic shields that have been donated. A few weeks ago, Evans set a goal of raising money from members of the community to purchase three shields to be handed out at the event.
“That turned into 10, then 20, then 30, now 40,” Evans said. “I’m overwhelmed by the support.”
Donations started pouring in, with some people sponsoring an entire shield for $562, a special price for this charity event set by the manufacturer, Arizona-based Shield Technology.
The shields absorb bullets from handguns.
Turner said the shield is much more functional and easier to use than shields law enforcement traditionally have used.
“It adds more body armor. It’s a ballistic shield that protects my guys,” Turner said. “The one we have is very bulky and heavy. This one is very lightweight and easy to carry.”
The biggest donor to date has been Brenda and Alan Pugh of Dallas, who sponsored seven shields over the weekend that will benefit departments in Dallas Borough, Edwardsville, Hanover Twp., Hazleton, Jackson Twp., Jenkins Twp., and Lehman Twp.
Brenda Pugh’s company AMP Global Strategies in Dallas provides communication systems, infrastructure, equipment and consulting services to various groups, including first responders and 911 centers.
“It’s was a perfect cause to give back and take care of our officers,” Brenda Pugh said.
Ron Lieback, founder of ContentMender, a Mountain Top-based content marketing agency, donated to the event and helped promote the cause.
“When I first spoke to the organizers about this event, the expectations were low. But within days of exposure thanks to DJ Donnie, the local community’s response has escalated,” Lieback said. “I’ve never witnessed a local philanthropic event supporting law enforcement grow this fast ... It says much about the strength of our local community, and its willingness to protect those who protect us.”
Brian Feist, 41, a representative for the shield company, grew up working at Skateaway and his mother is still the manager there. The Skate with a Cop event will buy more shields for officers and be a good community relations event, Feist said. Cost is $2 admission and $2 for a skate rental. Admission for law enforcement is free.
“Ultimately, this isn’t just about a shield. It’s about getting the community together to see law enforcement as family members,” Feist said. “Cops aren’t scary figures you should run from. It’s a way to get the community together with police officers.”
Contact the writer:
What: Skate with a Cop
When: Feb. 7, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Skateaway, 610 Blackman St., Wilkes-Barre Twp.
Cost: $2 admission and $2 skate rental. Free admission for law enforcement
For more information, call Donnie Evans at 570-655-4004