If you were at the track this week, you probably noticed several of our officers working. From directing traffic to infield security the Dover Police Department was there. But what you may not have seen is the department connecting with their community by partnering with two charitable programs.
Hunters Helping Soldiers
SSG. Dave Green is a retired veteran of the U.S. Army Airborne Division and came to Dover in 2013 as part of a trip sponsored by the Hunters Helping Soldiers organization founded by Dover native, Scott Campbell. As part of Dave’s trip he went on a ride along with the Dover Police Department.
After his initial trip, Green, an Oregon resident, was welcomed back by Hunters Helping Soldiers to attend the race weekend at the Dover International Speedway. The Dover Police Department had the opportunity to take part in the pre-race parade lap ahead of the FedEx Autism Speaks 400 as part of the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund event. Lt. Jason Pires and Lt. Eric Richardson had the thrill of driving two police vehicles around the Monster Mile and included SSG. Green. Green rode shotgun with Lt. Pires in a Dover Police Dodge Charger and got an up close look at why they call the track the Monster Mile. It was a great experience and an honor to represent Delaware Law Enforcement in front of thousands of fans. However, the greater honor was the chance to thank SSG. Green for his service to our country.
Shell Fuel For Success
For the 7th year in a row, the Dover Police Department has taken part in the Shell Fuel for Success program as one of just 8 law enforcement agencies in the entire nation. Juvenile Unit Officers Keith Hester and Mike Konnick took the children ranging from 5th-8th grade to the Dover International Speedway to take in the FedEx Autism Speaks 400 courtesy of NASCAR and the Fuel for Success Program. According to the program website, the program is much more than visits to the race tracks. A wide variety of activities are constantly being implemented to reach out to the students, including design, coloring and Eco-essay contests. Student’s self esteem and self confidence is raised by the influence and interaction with the Officers, Education Leaders and Chaperones. Healthy lifestyles and encouragement are promoted by the race driver and all the Police Officers. These mentors also share the exciting world of NASCAR Racing and expose the Middle and High school students to various careers within the racing industries. Students see by example that hard work, following your dreams, and a drug free life style can be very rewarding. Underprivileged students are shown that we care and are given hope to stay focused in school, despite economical misfortune that they can’t control.
The children met at the Central Middle School and departed by bus to the speedway and even had a police motorcycle escort to the track. Once they arrived they were greeted by none other than Miles the Monster, the 46-foot tall monument just outside of turn 4 of the speedway. After taking photos, they entered the speedway and were escorted to the Sprint Cup garage/pit road where they met with NASCAR driver Joey Logano. Logano spoke with the kids about his career and making smart choices in life and working hard to become successful. After speaking with the group, he answered questions from several kids and then signed each of the child’s hats that were given to them by Shell/Penzoil. As Logano departed to prepare to take on the Monster Mile, the kids were treated to a pizza lunch and then took their seats in turns 1 and 2 to watch the race. This was the 7th year that the Dover Police Department has participated in this program. Other department’s include Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, Colton Police, Oakland Police, St. Petersburg Police, Henry County Long Beach Police, Avondale Police, Fort Worth Police, and Phoenix Police. Officer Keith Hester and Mike Konnick are excited to prepare for next years race and expose more of our communities children to the excitement of NASCAR and learn important life lessons from the sports biggest stars.