Staff photo by Emmy Errante
Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Dan House presents an award to Detective R. Bannerman during the 2012 Police Officer’s Ball for resuscitating a man at the basketball courts on April 29.
Five North Carolina police officers died in the line of duty this year.
Six officers were killed in the line of duty in the United States this month.
Those and similar statistics drew 250 police officers and significant others to the 34th annual Police Officer’s Ball at the Holiday Inn in Wrightsville Beach on Saturday, Nov. 10, to raise money for the Wrightsville Beach Police Department Recreation and Benevolent Association.
“The question is, what do we do?” police chief Dan House said during a short speech. “A lot of people don’t know. We support the families of law enforcement officers that are killed in the line of duty.”
This year, the fund has given out $3,200 to families in need.
“What I think about is my family,” House said. “My wife is a successful business owner and so there is income coming in, but if they lost the income that comes in from my salary it’d be devastating.”
Members are currently working to expand the fund by reaching out to others.
“Participation means more than giving money,” House said.
Detective R. Bannerman, secretary of the association, attended the ball with her husband, Brett Addy.
“It’s something we look forward to,” she said. “I like to see the success of the fundraiser. … I hope that everybody in attendance and everybody in the community is aware of what the Benevolent Association does throughout the year.”
The association also helps sponsor events in town and for children in the community, she said.
Sergeant C. Kelly, president of the association, counted raffle tickets before dinner at the tables lined with a variety of gift bags.
He said two years ago the association came up with the idea for the bags so attendees could choose what they wanted to win among a choice of restaurant, golf, couples’ and other packages.
“We used to do door prizes,” Kelly said. “… People are more inclined to buy raffle tickets now.”
For the first time, House presented awards to a handful of the 24 full-time officers in the town’s police department.
Detective M. Monroe was recognized again as officer of the year.
Bannerman and officer A. Ridge received awards in recognition of outstanding performance for bringing immediate life-threatening medical attention to a member of the community and also saving his life after responding and resuscitating a man who collapsed at a basketball court on April 29.
House said the event raised about $6,000 last year and that the majority of the money comes from corporate sponsors and raffle tickets.
Two courtesy vans took officers and their families home safely once the evening came to an end.