Thanksgiving isn’t officially until Thursday. But on Saturday, residents of Deming Way were plenty thankful for members of the Wilmington Police Patrol Officers Union and other volunteers.
Union members continued an annual tradition that has gone on for nearly a decade when they invited Deming Way residents to the community room and served them a fresh turkey dinner with all the fixings.
“Let’s face it. The people are down here because they are not wealthy. They’re in need of service or care,” said Patrol Union president Butch Alpers. “Thanksgiving is about sharing your time with friends and family, and that’s what we’re here for.”
The Deming Way residents enjoyed a turkey dinner cooked and delivered by Rocco’s. After arriving in the community room, residents were seated and volunteers plated the food and brought delivered it to the tables.
Among the volunteers were Wilmington High School students, members of the Police Department and sons and daughters of several officers.
“I think they like having guys from the Police Department down here socializing, and also seeing a lot of different faces,” said Alpers. “They’re living in a small community here where they don’t see a lot of people in Wilmington. So it’s a nice way to bring some of Wilmington to them.”
Alpers said that fundraising done by the union goes towards things like dues, but he added that the group has historically been adamant that the money should go to other things like helping the community similarly to how they did on Saturday.
“It’s a nice way for the Police Department to get involved in the community and just give back a little bit,” said Alpers. “Policing is about protecting the public and serving them in that way. But I’ve always believed, and the department believes, that getting out in the community is a big part of what we do.”