COP serves pancakes and partnership
By KATIE HURST/ Staff Writer
CHELSEA — Nothing builds relationships likes a plate of pancakes and bacon. That’s what the Chelsea Citizens Observer Patrol were planning when they hosted their annual pancake breakfast Sept. 23 for local fire and police officials.
Dale Neuendorf, director of the Chelsea COP program, led the effort as 30 COP volunteers served breakfast to their fellow service organizations at Chelsea Recreational Park.
“We started doing this three years ago,” he said. “We wanted to prepare breakfast to say thank you to everyone who provides public service. It gives us a chance to get to know people in different departments who we don’t always work with.”
Shelby Baptist Medical Center sponsored the event providing funds for the breakfast.
Chelsea Fire & Rescue, Sheriff’s deputies, city employees, the mayor and city council all joined in the breakfast socializing.
“It’s a good community effort to just say thank you to all the service organizations in our city,” said Chelsea Mayor Earl Niven. “Of coarse, the mayor and city council enjoy getting free breakfast. The price is right.”
COP volunteer Donald Shirley, said the COP also benefits from the breakfast by the relationships that are formed with police and fire officials.
“You get to meet all these guys and talk to the deputies,” he said. “When we go out to work wrecks and stuff, they’ll recognize us.”
Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry who helped create the COP program, said events like the breakfast make him proud of the strong volunteer program. The COP volunteers help the Sheriff’s office by patrolling the community and reporting any suspicious activity.
“We’re only as good as the citizen’s help us to be,” he said. “It’s really important that the relationship exists between the community and public safety officials. It just builds report that is the core of cooperation. The citizens are the winners.”