Friday, 18 December 2020 12:19

Richmond County Sheriff's Office donates $1,500 to BackPack Pals

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The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office presents a check to BackPack Pals on Dec. 18. From left, Lt. Clyde Smith, Sheriff James Clemmons, Delphine Thomas, Dozier Thomas, Sgt. Mike Childers. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office presents a check to BackPack Pals on Dec. 18. From left, Lt. Clyde Smith, Sheriff James Clemmons, Delphine Thomas, Dozier Thomas, Sgt. Mike Childers. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Sheriff James Clemmons on Friday presented a $1,550 check to BackPack Pals to help with the organization’s continuing efforts to keep kids in Richmond County fed.


The money was raised by the deputies through a program that allowed them to grow facial hair and wear modest beards while in uniform.

“This was the deputies’ idea,” Clemmons said.

The presentation was made in an upstairs room of the old courthouse.

“It’s unreal … this is a blessing,” said Dozier Thomas, supervisor of the BackPack Pals program based in Hamlet, adding that it “came as a surprise.”

Thomas and his wife Delphine accepted the check.

Clemmons and Thomas worked together at Morrison Correctional Institution and Thomas also spent six years with the Hamlet Police Department.

“You only hear about the bad things law enforcement does … they wait for you to make a mistake,” Dozier said. “The good things get swept under the rug. This is great, right here.”

BackPack Pals isn’t the only community contribution made by the sheriff’s office this year.

On Dec. 12, Clemmons and several of his deputies took around four dozen Richmond County children on a Christmas shopping trip at Walmart through the Shop with a Deputy program.

Clemmons said the department also assisted with Richmond County Aging Services’ Secret Santa Program.

“And last night, we finished up with taking gift bags to individuals at our assisted living facilities who do not have family members that are able to come and give them,” Clemmons said.

Clemmons’ fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, partnered with the sheriff’s office to make deliveries to three of Richmond County’s assisted living facilities.

He gave credit to Sgt. Mike Childers for taking the lead in community outreach efforts.

“Because we want to make sure folks understand there’s more to us than just locking people up every single day,” Clemmons said. “We’re members of this community, we live in this community, serve this community … we know times are hard and we want to be able to give back to the community and make sure that our kids are taken care of to the best of our ability.”