Cops and community have quality bonding time at Wheeling event | News, Sports, Jobs

Officers and children from the Wheeling Police Department participate in sack races at Wheeling Heritage Port during the Cops, Pops and Community event on Saturday. In this particular race, Lt. Josh Sanders attempted to slow Officer Nolan Brough who was jumping into a bag. Sanders was slowed down by some.

WHEELING – Hot dogs, Twin Pops, sack races and more were enjoyed by local kids and members of the Wheeling Police Department on Saturday.

The festivities were part of the annual Cops, Pops and Community event – ​​a free event aimed at bonding residents and police officers.

Held at Heritage Port, the day started with free hot dogs, drinks and Budget Saver Twin Pops from Ziegenfelder Co. in Wheeling.

The children were also able to play in inflatable structures before taking part in games with the officers on the lawn of the port. The sack races were a big hit, with the kids doing their best to beat the officers. The officers were also all smiles as they jumped onto the lawn.

They also participated in the Twin Pop Race, which involved carrying a ball over the frozen treat while walking as quickly as possible.

picture by: Photo by Shelley Hanson

Wheeling Police Department Officer Nolan Brough jumps his best during the sack race with kids at Wheeling Heritage Port during the Cops, Pops and Community event on Saturday.

Before the races started, Wheeling resident JT Porter said it was the second time he had brought his children, Harper, 7, and Jack, 4, to the event. He believes it is important to attend such events to let his children get to know the officers and not be afraid of them if they need help in the future.

“It’s a big event. … It keeps the community together,” Porter said.

Both Harper and Jack said they were looking forward to playing in the bounce houses.

Alexandra Metz-Pugh from Martins Ferry brought her children Tenzlee, 5, and Malayna, 7, to enjoy the festivities as well. The girls also had fun having their pictures taken with superheroes, like Spider-Man, and other characters.

“It’s something to do. We come every year, they have it. My kids really appreciate that,” she said.

picture by: Photo by Shelley Hanson

Wheeling resident JT Porter poses with his children, Harper, 7, and Jack, 4, in front of a modified dirt race car during the annual Cops, Pops and Community at Heritage Port on Saturday.

New cops Nolan Brough, Harrison Franks and Cory Rager all enjoyed watching kids and families on the bounce games before they hit the races later. All three were impressed by the event.

Brough, who now lives in Triadelphia but is originally from Pittsburgh, said he used to do community outreach with police officers when he played football for Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania.

“My whole family is a cop. I have four cousins ​​who are cops and one in the military,” he noted.

Brough put his athleticism to the test later in the sack races, jumping as fast as he could. At one point, Wheeling Police Lt. Josh Sanders decided to try to slow him down by grabbing him from behind. It kind of worked and had everyone in the crowd laughing as they fell to the ground.

In addition to Ziegenfelder Co. and the Wheeling Police Department, other event sponsors include the Barry & Lisa Allen Foundation, Wheeling YWCA and Belmont Savings Bank.

picture by: Photo by Shelley Hanson

Harper Porter, 7, sits behind the wheel of a modified dirt race car during the annual Cops, Pops and Community at Heritage Port on Saturday. She was accompanied by her father JT Porter of Wheeling and her 4-year-old brother, Jack.

Barry Allen, chairman of the Barry & Lisa Allen Foundation, said he expected 1,000 people to attend the event, which was held between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“It’s about bringing the community together,” Allen said. “The way the world has been for the past few years, there’s a lot of division in the communities, and we’re really proud that we don’t have a lot of division. We have a really good community.

Allen was also happy to see people enjoying the free food and festivities, especially since many are now suffering from the impact of inflation.

“Big shout out to the Ziegenfelder Society for sponsoring this thing and to the police department and the community for coming together,” he said.

The Metz-Pugh sisters, Tenzlee, 5, and Malayna, 7, of Martins Ferry meet Spider-Man at the annual Cops, Pops and Community party at Heritage Port on Saturday. They were accompanied by their mother Alexandra Metz-Pugh.

New Wheeling Police Department officers Nolan Brough, Harrison Franks and Cory Rager participate in Saturday’s annual Cops, Pops and Community event – a free event aimed at bonding residents and police officers.

Wheeling Police Department officers and children enjoy participating in sack races at Wheeling Heritage Port during the Cops, Pops and Community event on Saturday.

Children have a head start in a sack race with police officers during the Cops, Pops and Community event on Saturday at the Wheeling Heritage Port.

Wheeling Police Department officers and children enjoy participating in sack races at Wheeling Heritage Port during the Cops, Pops and Community event on Saturday.

Children have a head start in a sack race with police officers during the Cops, Pops and Community event on Saturday at the Wheeling Heritage Port.

Wheeling Police Department officers and children enjoy participating in sack races at Wheeling Heritage Port during the Cops, Pops and Community event on Saturday.

Wheeling Police Department officers and children enjoy participating in sack races at Wheeling Heritage Port during the Cops, Pops and Community event on Saturday.

Children walk briskly while trying to balance a ball on a Twin Pop during games at the annual Cops, Pops and Community event Saturday in Wheeling.

A wild groundhog enjoys a piece of bread someone gave it during the annual Cops, Pops and Community event on Saturday at the Wheeling Heritage Port.


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Joseph K. Bennett