By Shannon Kuratli
Sparta Police Officers Brian Porter and Tom Herd were invited for the second consecutive year by the morning show "Fox and Friends," on Fox News Channel (FNC), for a segment on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Greeted by morning show hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt, Patrolmen Porter and Herd were interviewed on air and were then recipients of an appreciation flag during a ceremony held outside of Fox Headquarters in New York City.
Born and raised in Sparta, both police officers are Sparta High School alumni. Porter, a fifth generation law enforcement said, "Being a police officer and keeping the residents of Sparta safe, is all I have ever wanted to do, really. I had such a happy and safe childhood, and I just want to make sure Sparta stays as safe now as it was when I was growing up."
Porter's paternal great great grandmother, Marion Barry, was one of the first female officers in New York City, receiving badge number 72 in August of 1928.
"Generations have come and gone and badge numbers are now in the forty thousands, so knowing she was one of the first, yeah, that makes me incredibly proud," Porter said.
Porter will travel to Ireland in March to play the bagpipes in Ireland's Killarney and Cork City parades, after his group, Bergan County Pipes and Drums, received an invitation, due to their affiliation with the annual New York City St Patrick's Day Parade. This is their first invitation to Ireland for the parades, but Porter speculates, and hopes, there might be more invitations in the future.
The officers will appear on the show again next year. Fox and Friends has already invited Officers Porter and Herd has already invited them for a third time.
"They were so nice, so appreciative," Porter recalls. "They thanked us for our service, they asked us thoughtful questions on the air and off, and they were just so respectful. It made me proud to represent my town that I love so much, in front of the entire nation ... the entire world, really."
An officer with Sparta PD for 5 years now, Porter reflected on his life in Sparta and said, "This is all I've ever wanted to do with my life. ... and to wake up every day, glad to go to work, happy to go in, that makes me just a really lucky guy."