Paducah Police Officer Melissa Dillon stopped by CenterPoint Recovery Center for Men this week to “hang out with the guys” and bring them some cookies.
Officer Dillion has worked with CenterPoint residents throughout her career. She is retiring later this year and wanted to thank the residents for their help – especially for the Paducah Housing Authority/Paducah Police Department Fun Day that is a special project of hers that she created.
Dillon said, “The guys at CenterPoint are amazing; they never hesitate to help me
when I ask them.” “She went on, “Since I am retiring this week, I wanted them to know how much I truly appreciated them.”
PHA/PPD Fun Day has been one of Dillon’s biggest projects. Several years ago, as
she was patrolling in Elmwood Court, a girl approached Dillon and asked if she had
a basketball that she could play with. Dillon said she did not, but was so moved by
the child’s request that she went out and bought one.
That sparked Dillon’s dream to provide basketballs and other sporting equipment to
every child at the complex. Then the project grew, and Dillon and other officers
obtained donations from more than 50 corporate sponsors and individuals for what
came to be known as PHA/PPD Fun Day. CenterPoint residents have served as
volunteers for the day since it’s inception. Vendors set up and provide services to
residents, and in the first year alone, three bicycles and more than 600 individual
pieces of sports equipment (balls, hula hoops, etc.) were given out. The remaining
funds were used to buy school supplies for the entire fifth-grade class at Morgan Elementary school. The project has grown every year since and CenterPoint Recovery Center has been so pleased to be a part of the effort. Officer Dillon, last year, was selected as Officer of the Year for the Paducah Police Department in 2016. On hand for her award presentation were Gretchen Roof, Vice President of Clinical Services for Four Rivers Behavioral Health and Thelma Hunter,
Director of CenterPoint Recovery Center.
Four Rivers Behavioral Health and CenterPoint have always worked closely with the Paducah Police Department on various projects. Plus, the Paducah Police and Officer Dillon in particular, have embraced CenterPoint and the mission of the
organization. Officer Dillon has visited CenterPoint on numerous occasions over the year to help facilitate classes and help residents understand that the police are not the enemy and truly care and want to help those with drug and alcohol addiction.
Officer Dillon will be missed in the halls of CenterPoint but you can be that residents
will be at the next PHA/PPD Fun Day giving it their all and doing so with the
knowledge that it was all started by a police officer with an idea and caring heart.
To learn more about the Paducah Police Department check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/paducahpolice/