ELLERBE — Local peach farmer Danny Bynum treated Richmond County law enforcement officers to the fruits of his labor Wednesday at his farm’s market stand on Gallimore Road in the Windblow community.
Bynum, whose family has owned the farm since 1922, said recent media coverage of anti-police sentiment across the nation made him want to show local officers some appreciation.
“Me and my wife (Sherry) had been wanting to do something for probably two months and we couldn’t figure out what to do,” he said. “And I said, ‘Well, since we’re in the peach business, we might as well do this and just give ‘em a little basket.’ I’ve got 180 of those little boxes out there that we’ve sent out today.”
Bynum had baskets of peaches ready for each law enforcement agency in the county, including the local North Carolina Highway Patrol office in Hamlet. He said he’s always supported the deputies, police and state troopers. He also holds the dispatchers in high regard, and said there were peaches for them.
“My brother, he works for the sheriff’s department and that’s what inspires me,” he said. “I’m part of the Richmond County Crime Stoppers myself and I’ve been a member of the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association for 16 years. I’ve always been interested in (law enforcement) and they’re getting such a bad rap. I just wanted to do something good for them, tell them thank you.”
Deputy Landon Cowick received a basket full of ripe peaches destined for the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s very special, and we appreciate everything he’s doing for us,” Cowick said.
“They risk their lives every day, put their lives on the line for us and I just want to say, ‘Thank you,’” Bynum said. “The only thing people want to do now is talk bad about them. ‘They did this,’ and ‘they did that.’ If it wasn’t for them we couldn’t make it. If you don’t believe it, they need to quit for a couple days, just walk off the job for two days. Nah, it wouldn’t even take two days. ‘Cause who would you call? I just want to let them know I appreciate them, it’s just this small token from me and my wife.”
“I just think it’s nice people are showing actual appreciation for law enforcement, especially the way things are now,” said Rockingham Police Department Detective Eric Culbreth.
Bynum said his wife was unable to be there Wednesday due to work obligations, but that she wished the law enforcement officers thanks and appreciation for all they do. Staff members Jamie Allen, Jessica Poland and Tracy Gomiller came in early to pack all of the peaches and greet officers as they arrived to pick them up.
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.