Republicans to hold police symposium at South Coastal Library

The 38th District Republican Club is putting politics aside on Monday, Jan. 25, and instead encouraging anyone and everyone to join them at the South Coastal Library for a police symposium at the South Coastal Library.

Representatives from the Fenwick Island, South Bethany, Bethany Beach, Selbyville and Ocean View police departments, as well as the Delaware State Police from Troop 4, will all be in attendance, to answer any questions local residents may have about their boys in blue.

“I wanted to make sure that we have a diversity of speakers, on subjects that are important to the citizens of Sussex County,” explained 38th District Republican Club President Drew Sunderlin of the concept. “What applies to Ocean View may not apply to Selbyville, so I wanted to make sure that everybody was represented — including State Police Troop 4 that covers all the incorporated areas, like where I live.”

While Sunderlin has a list of questions already prepared, with topics ranging for safety, personal protection and homeowner tips to traffic stops and local duties of citizens, those citizens will have a chance to ask the panel their own questions, as well, following a similar format to the entrepreneur symposium held at the library in November.

“I’m going to throw out a question to one of the speakers, panelists, let them answer it, and the audience then raise their hand and ask anything they want,” said Sunderlin. “I have no idea what the audience is going to ask, which is the whole idea. I want the audience involvement.

“I wanted to bring all [the local departments] together, because we have a lot of concerned citizens here that would really like to get the answers firsthand, not whispered down the road.”

Sunderlin, who has a son working as a Pennsylvania state trooper, was particularly drawn to getting the community and police departments together, face to face, after noticing all the negative attention that officers can receive.

“We need to have more positive coverage of our first-responders. These are the people that, when push comes to shove and you need somebody, they’re who you call,” he explained. “We are a blessed community. It’s a small community where everybody pretty much knows everybody else and we all are here to help one another — quite a difference from [big cities]. It’s a different atmosphere down here, and we should be rallying around the people that keep us safe.”

The symposium will be held at the South Coastal Library at 43 Kent Avenue in Bethany Beach and starts at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25. Anyone interested in showing support for their local police force or who has questions is being encouraged to attend.