HAMLET — Moved by recent events discussed in national media and on social networks, retired Richmond County Schools teacher Debbie Bateman decided to do something to show local law enforcement officers how grateful she is for putting their lives on the line each day.
“With all of the angry comments that I’ve seen on television and on Facebook, I thought, ‘They’ve got to know that we love them and that we support them,” she said. “Yes, there have been a lot of mistakes, and people make mistakes — who hasn’t? But I thought it was important to support them in what they do everyday, risking their lives.”
Bateman — with help from her 22-year-old granddaughter, Cassidy Leviner and 6-year-old grandson, Rhyls Stewart — baked and delivered sweet treats to the Hamlet and Rockingham police departments, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and Highway Patrol office in Hamlet.
“I made pound cakes,” she said. “I made 32 great big cinnamon cakes in all. My granddaughter helped me bake some of them, and my grandson got to come with us to deliver some of them on Friday.”
Bateman, who still works part time as a media specialist at Ashley Chapel Educational Center, said in light of anti-law enforcement sentiments in parts of the nation, she felt it was important for local officers to understand they are appreciated.
“Their jobs are so important and their lives are so important, no matter who they are,” she said. “Mr. Mormon at the sheriff’s office was so nice when we went there. I worry for them and I pray for them daily. Hopefully, here in our community, we’ll show support and not have some of the problems these larger communities are having.”
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.