Adopt A Cop Returning To Greenbrier County, Event Planned For Saturday

It’s no secret that being a law enforcement officer is a tough job. The long hours, the stress, the life or death decisions and being the person that everyone needs, but no one wants to see, is enough to affect even the most seasoned officer. Luckily, in Greenbrier County, those in law enforcement have the support of the community and the support of two ladies who have decided to adopt them out to caring individuals who wish to show their appreciation.

Brittany Ennis and Jamie Baker founded the Greenbrier County Adopt a Cop program in September 2020. According to Ennis, the decision to start this program came about following the recent shift in public perception of law enforcement. This, combined with their experiences working with those in law enforcement and having family members in law enforcement, made them the perfect candidates to start a program like Adopt a Cop.

“We wanted to show the officers that they are still loved and supported throughout the community,” Ennis said. “They do so much to help and protect us and it’s time we give back to them.”

To raise money for that first Adopt a Cop, Ennis said that an adoption fee was set up for every state, county, municipal and DNR officer countywide (85 total) and five K9 officers.

“Within three days they were all adopted and some of them were even adopted twice,” Ennis said.

A little over $4,000 was raised in just over two months and volunteers donated their time and supplies to provide the officers with handcrafted and store-bought presents that were delivered just before Christmas.

“We made them personalized signs with their last name on them in the thin blue line. People throughout the community made goodie bags with baked items like cookies and Gatorade.”

She said that bigger organizations donated items as well and she was able to buy a $50 gift card to Park Center Sporting Goods in Rainelle for each officer. For K9 officers, Rural King donated five bags of dog food and each K9 received a personalized water bowl.

This display of kindness was well-received throughout the law enforcement community.

Greenbrier County Sheriff Bruce Sloan said that he was grateful for the gifts he received and for his adopter last year.

“It was a gratifying feeling,” Sloan said. “I think that’s the way most officers felt. People don’t go into law enforcement, or any first responder role, for the accolades or acknowledgment. They do it for service. But it’s always nice when people acknowledge what you do, or express appreciation.”

He noted that there has been a nationwide shift in how officers are viewed and there have been some isolated incidents where local officers have felt that shift. However, for the most part, Sloan said that the Greenbrier County community is still respectful.

“We are fortunate to live in the area we are in,” Sloan said. “I think that anytime you bring awareness to anything, whatever it might be, is always a positive. The Adopt a Cop program is positive and I think it educates the public. We can see what is happening in other parts of the country, so it doesn’t happen here.”

He added that the hardest part of the job for him is the limitations placed on those in law enforcement.

“There are times when we are limited in some instances in what we can do for people and in what we are legally allowed to do,” Sloan said. “When you can’t provide or always meet the needs of people it’s hard. We want to fulfill those needs, but just cannot always do that.”

For this reason, and others, Sloan said that all first responders are in challenging positions. So, community support is always appreciated.

“Officers are human like everyone else and anytime you get someone who expresses their appreciation or does something special like this, it means a lot,” Sloan said.

Lewisburg Police Department Chief Chris Teubert shared that he and his officers enjoyed the Adopt a Cop program last year and look forward to the program making a return this year.

“It was very much appreciated by every one of our officers,” he said of Adopt a Cop.

For him, the hardest part of the job is wanting to help people who struggle with issues like drug abuse but just cannot break the cycle.

“We see a lot of the negative things that society has to offer on a daily basis, but programs, like Adopt a Cop, shows us that we are supported in what we do,” Teubert said.
He noted that he placed the personalized sign he received last year in his office where he can see it every day. It serves as a reminder that even though officers nationwide are not receiving as much support as they once did, his community is still very supportive.

Following the success of the first Greenbrier County Adopt a Cop, Ennis and Baker plan to once again provide this program and are gearing up to make it happen.

On Saturday, August 7, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. those with the Adopt a Cop program will be hosting a fundraiser and car show featuring the Shade Tree Car Club at the Ronceverte Island Park in Ronceverte. There is a $15 fee for vehicle registration with all proceeds going toward the program. Slots are still available for those who wish to show their car, truck or motorcycle at the event, Ennis said. Participants can bring their vehicle to the Island Park that day from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and pay the registration fee to participate.

There will be various family-friendly activities during the car show and t-shirts supporting law enforcement will be for sale. The event is free to the public. Additionally, Ennis will soon begin taking adoption fees and donations to provide officers with gifts once again. She will be on-hand at the event for anyone who wishes to ask questions or receive additional information.

“This is just a Greenbrier County thing for now, but it may go bigger,” Ennis said. She added that she hopes to make this program statewide in the future.

For those who cannot make it to the car show, but would like more information or wish to Adopt a Cop, visit “Greenbrier County Adopt a Cop” on Facebook. Ennis said that she does not post the names of officers online, but a private message request will allow adopters to select the officer of their choice.

For those who do not use Facebook, they may call Ennis at 304-667-1417.

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