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Public safety personnel honored by Kaplan College on 9/11 anniversary

September 12, 2008|By JANET HEIM

HAGERSTOWN -- Sheriff Doug Mullendore and Maj. Sam Billotti remember how their work days changed Sept. 11, 2001, after they learned of terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Additional people were called in and the Washington County Sheriff's Department was put on high alert.

"We ramped up our staff to react to any additional threats," Billotti said.

Seven years later, Mullendore and Billotti were joined by other law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel at a reception held in their honor Thursday in the Kaplan College Student Lounge.

Lisa Copenhaver, dean of students at the college, said as they planned events for the school year, they felt it important to recognize the people who keep the community safe every day.

"We just really wanted to take our time to thank them for what they do," Copenhaver said.

Kaplan College Student Success Coordinator Sonya Pryor said that some of the students are too young to really understand the impact of 9/11 and instructors were taking the opportunity to use the day as a "teachable moment."

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Kaplan College has an ongoing relationship with local law enforcement, and fire and rescue agencies because they work together through the college's criminal justice and forensics programs.

Students were encouraged to show their thanks by attending the reception.

"I think it's wonderful because they do so much for our community," said Phylicia Musser, a medical secretary administration student.

"It's nice to see so many of them, that they took time out of their schedule to come," phlebotomy student Velda Spencer said.

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