Mount Pleasant, nestled as it is between neighboring Valhalla and Pleasantville, tends to be insulated from most incidences of violent crime. But town resident and U.S. Army vet William Segel found himself troubled by the recent police shootings in Baton Rouge and Dallas, and felt compelled to show support for his local police departments.
“With everything going on around this country,” he says, “I believe that instead of having negativity, it is extremely important to bring the community together.”
First, he posted a poll on Facebook gauging interest in an appreciation BBQ. After receiving tremendous positive feedback, he contacted the Mount Pleasant and Pleasantville police departments. “At first, they were a little hesitant and surprised,” Segel recalls, adding that, “Their number one concern was security.” But once they heard him out, both PDs were incredibly touched and on board.
From there, Segel launched a gofundme campaign to raise money for the event, set to take place this Sunday at 1 pm at Broadway Field in Mount Pleasant. He also launched an Appreciation BBQ for Our Officers in Blue Facebook event page, and as of this article’s publication, more than 130 attendees have RSVP’d. Moreover, sponsors including Pepsi, Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe Inc., Walgreens, and Sabrett have signed on, helping ensure that there’ll be plenty of food, drinks, live music, and bouncy castles for kids. A softball game between local residents and officers is also in the works.
Segel’s hope is that this BBQ inspires other communities to rally in support of their local police. And while he in no way expected such an overwhelming response to his efforts, he sees it as proof that, “If you are trying to do something good, than people are willing to help.”
If you are interested in attending the event or donating, you can find more details here.