Alabaster shows appreciation for APD during annual dinner celebration

Published 1:59 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Officers of the Alabaster Police Department strolled down a blue carpet into Champy’s Fried Chicken as local residents cheered them on during this year’s Alabaster Police Appreciation Dinner.

This eighth annual celebration of the APD was held on June 13 at Champy’s Fried Chicken in Alabaster.

“Eight years ago, we started this event, and the goal was just to feed the Alabaster Police Department dinner and just say, ‘thank you,’” said Dena Bedsole who works to organize the event every year. “Every year, it’s progressed—from barely having enough money to pay for dinner to giving away tens of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes.”

The event began with a blue carpet that was sprawled out in front of the entrance of restaurant as locals cheered officers on as they came inside the business.

“As they’re walking by, we’re trying to greet them and their families and let them know their appreciated by the city,” Alabaster City Councilmember Zach Zahariadis said. “They just do a great job commending all the officers with something simple like a dinner and a raffle (and it’s good) to be able to give them an opportunity—to be showing some respect for their job.”

Once inside, officers were treated to a dinner as well as various prizes, music and entertainment.

“I feel like we live in such a negative world, and people want to do good and give back and this event gives them the avenue to do that,” Bedsole said. “It shows our Alabaster Police Department how much the community truly supports them and loves them.”

Officer John St. Pierre attended the dinner and shared his appreciation for the love and care the community has given to the APD.

“We are completely honored for it and very humbled,” St. Pierre said. “For the last eight years, the community has come together without any type of begging or solicitation. They said, ‘You know what, we appreciate what Alabaster police officers do for our community, what they sacrifice, the time away from their families (and) answering the call for service. What can we do for them? Let’s create a night, let’s grab them a free meal. Let’s let them be able to congregate and enjoy time together.’”

St. Pierre shared that many of the officers are on different shifts and the event provided an opportunity for them to see one another and interact with each other’s families.

“Alabaster is one of the best cities to live in,” St. Pierre said. “A lot of it is because of our community. We have a great partnership with everyone in our community. We can’t do our jobs without individuals in this community. An example is the connections we have, we’re always together when there’s a problem, when there’s a crime we reach out and they respond. We can’t be everywhere at once, but knowing that our community supports us, we have that relationship, we can conquer anything together.”