Rockton Police Association Blues & BBQ 2023 was a success.

The Rockton Police Association’s Blues and BBQ drew a nice crowd on Wednesday evening, Sept. 6 at Settlers Park.

Blues and BBQ’s was the brainchild of Village President John Peterson when he served as a Trustee. Peterson

approached the Police Department, Village and the Rockton Lions Club in hopes of developing a memorable way to close out the 2016 Rockton River Market and Music in the Park.

Inspired by the idea the Rockton Police Association formed a committee. Joining in the action were family members and friends of those serving in the Rockton Police Department.

This year’s event went back to its traditional roots by hosting it after the conclusion of the 2023 Rockton River Market.

Lining the park were booths or tables complete with information and giveaway items. One of the booths featured was the OSD festival.

At a Blue 815 table the Jaimie Cox Memorial Scholarship former Officer Jaimie Cox’s cousin Andrea greeted everyone with a warm and loving smile.

Cox serves as the Chair of Blue 815. This organization is set up to build awareness, bridge citizens and law enforcement, empower support and to honor the fallen.

Cox handed out special plastic cups that turn the color blue after liquid is added to them.

Officer Jaimie Cox died in the line of duty on Nov. 5, 2017.

Jaimie Cox was a Rockford Police officer who was a graduate of Hononegah Community High School who also served in the United States National Guard and was part of a National Army Guard contingent deployed from 2008-2009 to Nangarhar province in Afghanistan.

He received honors including the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and he was awarded the Illinois National Guard Abraham Lincoln Medal of Freedom Ribbon.

Playing from the gazebo were sounds of the band, “Mixtape” who produced music of various genres.

Officer Matt Anderson of the Loves Park Police Department gave a K-9 demonstration featuring K-9 Koal.

Officer Anderson and his Koal were joined by K9 Blitz who is a dual purpose Malinois and Dutch Shepherd mix from Belarus. His owner Luke Limberg who is a graduate of Hononegah Community High School.

Canine Koal is a dual purpose Belgian Malinois patrol dog from Czechoslovakia. Canine Koal is said to be deployed more than 20 times a month.

Officer Anderson said, “These dogs can run 25 to 35 miles per hour, they are very athletic.”

K9 Koal performed a search for narcotics by following a specific scent.

Blitz performed apprehension of a narcotics violator, showing how he would normally go after a violent offender.

At the end of the K9 demonstration officer asked if anyone had any questions. One young man asked if the dogs smell of bombs. Officers replied that they don’t.

These Canines are trained in narcotics detection, tracking, building searches, area searches, evidence recovery, tracking officer safety and tracking criminal apprehension.

Emergency and military vehicle displays were on sight and ready to welcome guests.

Rockton Fire Protection District gave rides in a ladder truck, which proved to be a popular activity once again.

Very nice silent auction items were bid on and tickets were sold for a chance to win on a 50/50 raffle. The raffle earned a total of $690 with one lucky winner taking home $345

Young ones took turns in bounce houses or chose to have their faces painted.

Teams competed in a friendly Bean Bag Tournament.

Food and beverage options included Rockton Fire Association loaded baked potatoes, Sam’s Pizza, or FIBS – pulled pork sandwiches and chips, which were served under a Rockton Police tent. Extra food choices included Dairyhaus ice cream, DeeDee’s Coffee made fresh in the “Hazel” trailer and The Mix, plus beverage choices of beer, water or pop. The Olive Branch offered Greek style foods in a food truck. Al’s Main Street Tap offered adult beverages.

Blues and BBQ events are just one way that the Rockton Police Association gives back throughout a year. RPA is a 501(c)3 organization. All proceeds from Blues and BBQ will be used to support the Rockton community and the Jaimie Cox Memorial Scholarship.

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