MCHENRY – As part of a new effort to reach out to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, troopers at the Maryland State Police McHenry Barrack hosted a Garrett County Special Olympics athlete yesterday and took him on a patrol – one that his mother says he will remember for a long time.
George Mattingly, of Garrett County, became an honorary State Trooper on Wednesday as he met with the commander, Lt. Mark Rodeheaver, and the troopers & civilian employees at the McHenry Barrack. George was given a tour of the barrack, where he visited the offices of State Troopers, Natural Resources Police officers, and deputy state fire marshals.
“We were happy to host George, especially since he is so interested in law enforcement,” Lt. Rodeheaver said. “His smile, his enthusiasm, and his excitement brightened our day and lifted the spirits of everyone in the barrack. We were trying to do something to make his day, but he made ours. All of us at the McHenry Barrack look forward to similar meetings in the future as we continue our support for and expand our understanding of citizens with intellectual disabilities.”
After his tour, Mattingly went out on patrol. His partner for the shift was Senior Trooper Steve LeMay. LeMay was impressed with George’s interest in police work. “George would make one happy police officer because he never stopped smiling the entire time we were on patrol,” LeMay said. “We had a great time together. I hope George was encouraged by all the new friends he now has at the McHenry Barrck.”
George’s mother, Donna Holt, is the coordinator for Special Olympics programs in Garrett County. As she works to increase the number of people with intellectual disabilities who participate in Special Olympics, she also hopes to continue working with the barrack to increase interaction between athletes in the program and law enforcement officers. Lt. Rodeheaver has given her his full support and looks forward to future visits.
The Special Olympics, held each February, raise money to support children and adults with intellectual disabilities who participate in year-round sports training and competition provided free of charge by Special Olympics Maryland.