DARKE COUNTY - This weekend marked the 52nd annual Darke County Sheriff’s Patrol Home & Sport Show, which serves as the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year.
The Darke County Sheriff’s Patrol Home & Sport Show took place in the fairgrounds Coliseum and Youth Building, and featured around 70 vendors, ranging from gardening supplies, specialty candies and homemade sheds and storage and several other home improvement services.
The Sheriff’s Patrol operates on funds generated through a handful of fundraisers, as well as the personal contributions from each of the patrol members, both fiscally and with their own time.
“Without these fine men and women who volunteer their time, we would not be able to perform some of the jobs that we do. I’m very thankful for them,” said Darke County Sheriff Toby Spencer. “They sacrifice many things to volunteer for the protection of the citizens of Darke County. They need to be commended for that.”
Sheriff’s Patrol officers serve as peace officers during large-scale events like The Great Darke County Fair and Eldora Speedway, while helping out the full-time Sheriff’s deputies when needed.
The volunteer unit is also on standby in case the Sheriff’s Office experiences an emergency situation, like a standoff or SWAT team situation. At those moments, the auxiliary can perform any number of tasks, including monitoring the roadways so that other officers can be available to attend to the emergency situation.
“This group is made up of fine, outstanding citizens who are an essential part of law enforcement. They help carry the burden for the Sheriff’s Department,” said Darke County Commissioner Mike Rhoades.
“It certainly is important that we have the public’s support, and I thank you very much for coming and supporting these great men and women of the Sheriff’s Patrol,” said Sheriff Spencer.
Admission to the event, including the weekend’s entertainment, was completely free of charge.
The event keeps growing every year, said Home & Sport Show Organizer Gaylen Blosser, due to the ongoing patronage of Darke County residents, the sheriff’s department and elected officials.
“We’re very fortunate to have the support of this community, because it’s a great cause,” he said.
This year’s headlining entertainment featured the musical talents of Higgins -Madewell, which offered a combination of strong vocals, acoustic guitar and heartfelt original lyrics. The group has won the ActiveDayton.com “Best Band Award” for three years running.
And as a service to the Darke County Sheriff’s Patrol, the band played free of charge.
Sheriff’s Patrol officers opt to pay for their continual training out of their own pockets, as well as their uniforms and other equipment.
“They reach out throughout the county and they serve from their heart,” said Darke County Commissioner Diane Delaplane.
In order to serve in the Sheriff’s Patrol, members must undergo the same training as other law enforcement agents, which includes intense academy training that can last up to seven months. They’re then granted the same powers that a Sheriff’s Deputy has, including the ability to make arrests.
“In the grand scheme of things, I can’t think of any better place in the world to be than right here. And that’s a large part because of the security of knowing we are safe. And we’re safe because of the men and women in uniform, who do it because they love this place like we do,” said State Representative Jim Buchy (R-84th). “I just want to thank you for what you do for us.”