In a day and age when police officers are under more public scrutiny than ever, one local business wants the public to know Hillsville’s officers are still very much appreciated.
On Friday, Southern States Carroll County Cooperative paid for lunch for each member of the Hillsville Police Department at Hillsville’s Pizza Perfect on Main. For Southern States Assistant Manager Tina Goad, it was a simple gesture for a job well done and one that is often overlooked by the public.
“Southern States Carroll County Co-Op just wanted to recognize and appreciate the Town of Hillsville Police Department for the job that they do. They don’t get the recognition that they should. They don’t get paid as much as they should when they turn around and put their life out here on the line every day. So we just wanted to give our appreciation,” said Goad, who was joined at the meal by Southern States Carroll County Manager Adam Pearson. “Our alarms may go off at the store, I may have to come up two, three, four times within a week in the middle of the night and they turn around and come in, inspect the store with me. Anytime I have issues with the store, any questions or concerns about the property, they are always there at a split second. We tried to do something for them to let them know that we appreciate what they do.”
Goad said a lot of times people don’t realize all the good things police departments like the HPD do so often. It is things like coming to the store and helping someone who has locked their keys in the vehicle. Sometimes it’s things like helping an elderly lady cross the road.
“It seems like all people want to see is all the bad, well this person did this or did that,” Goad said. “But we are very fortunate to live in this area that we do have a good crew and that they are respectful of everybody and we have no problems thankfully that the other towns and cities do. We are very appreciative.”
Goad and Pearson were actually in Charlotte, N.C. recently during the riots after Keith Scott was fatally shot by police officers. Witnessing the chaos firsthand in the Tar Heel state was an eye-opening experience for Goad.
“We were there in Charlotte when all that happened and when we came back, I had this in mind (to buy lunch for HPD officers). We are very fortunate to have the officers we have,” Goad said. “When you see stuff like that down there and you see bullet holes where you were at and busted glass, it gives you a different perspective on life. It’s something we are just not used to in a small town. “
The Hillsville Police Department continues a business check program where it periodically checks each business in town to make sure the location is safe overnight. After the check, the department will leave a card under the door of the business.
“That gives you great peace of mind because when you unlock that door in the morning you know there is nobody in there waiting on you. And a lot of times even when I am working late at night, an officer will come through the parking lot just to make sure I’m okay,” Goad said. “We are very appreciative of everything they do for us and the town.”
Hillsville Police Chief Wesley Yonce said his crew was touched by the gesture of Friday’s free lunch. He said it makes the department feel like they are respected in the community.
“We appreciate their support of us and we are trying to go back to the community-based policing where we go in all the businesses, talk to them and keep all that in the mind. If they have any questions or problems, all they have to do is call us and we will be glad to answer anything any business in town feels we need to do,” Yonce said. “We want everybody to know we are here for the good and bad. We protect them in the bad but if they need anything on the good side we are also here to help them in that way too, whether it is to give advice to businesses or homeowners about their security, anything like that. We want Hillsville to be the safest place we can to work, live and have a business.”
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN