MILLERSVILLE – When James Mandrin heard last week that police officers from his county were going to help with relief efforts at the World Trade Center in New York, he promptly called the chief.
Then Mandrin, a resident of Anne Arundel County since 1967, told Chief P. Thomas Shanahan to expect a $15,000 check to finance the officers’ trip.
The force thanked its benefactor formally Thursday.
It’s citizens like Mandrin who make America great, said Shanahan, noting that this isn’t the first time Mandrin’s helped out, although it’s his first large monetary donation.
Mandrin serves on Hospice of the Chesapeake directors’ board, said Shanahan.
It’s the officers who inspired him, said Mandrin, owner of Mandrin Homes, a construction company in Pasadena. His contribution, he said, was merely a way of showing his support and patriotism.
“I’m proud to be an Anne Arundel County resident. I’m proud to be a friend of the police. I’m proud to be an American,” said Mandrin.
The $15,000 allowed 72 officers, all volunteers, to go to New York without incurring out-of-pocket expenses, said Charles Ravenell, Anne Arundel County Police spokesman.
Officials wouldn’t reveal the mission cost, but Shanahan said Mandrin’s contribution financed most of the trip. Any leftover money would be used for police training and equipment, he said.
The officers’ trip marked the first time county police traveled out of state to do something other than investigative work, said Shanahan.
“I hope it’s the last time we have to do this,” he added.
Anne Arundel County police officers took it upon themselves to join more than 200 other police agencies nationwide to assist in the relief effort.
While in New York, the officers worked 12-hour shifts for three days with police departments from Chicago, Alabama and New Mexico. These officers provided relief to the New York Police Department, which has been overtaxed since it began rescue and recovery operations Sept. 11.
Some of their assignments included guarding the United Nations, directing traffic in Manhattan and patrolling Times Square.
The most difficult assignment was wading through debris at Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island in search of airplane parts and human remains, said Officer Michelle Mangold, who teaches Drug Abuse Resistance Education in Pasadena.
“You’re basically searching for people’s lives,” said Mangold.
The fourth and final group of Anne Arundel officers will leave for New York Friday.
– 30 – CNS 10-11-01