NCSHP receives gift for injured trooper

Lindsay Robins
Staff Writer

When the Claremont Police Department works with the community to support an injured officer they generate enough love that it can reach across state lines.

Trooper C.L. Wooten, with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, was injured in the line of duty in late July. He has undergone multiple medical procedures and is currently under the care of a specialist in Georgia at the Shepherd Rehabilitation Center. Trooper Wooten's story resonated with the Claremont Police Department and they decided to find a way to honor the trooper's fourteen years of service while being respectful of his current condition.

"Support and love doesn't stop at the city limits," Claremont's Captain Allen Long said of the bond shared by law enforcement officers. "The thin blue line family is big and it stretches across the state. We would like to present Trooper Wooten with a small token of our appreciation for his years of service and dedication he has given to the citizens of North Carolina."

Captain Long reached out to Dianne Elliott to help with the task of honoring Trooper Wooten's service. Elliott is a talented seamstress and quilter. Together they came up with a quilt design incorporating the thin blue line and the NCSHP badge. Between the police department and the people who helped work on the quilt, Elliott says it took a community effort to get it completed.

"I took a picture of the badge to Shelley Orr at the Newton Library", she explained. "She does a lot of copying for me, and she was able to blow the picture up to an eighteen-inch square. I took it home and began to dissect it so I could make it with fabric. I then went to Wanda Morrison to find fabric in greys and dark blues. Wanda did all the embroidery on the back. While she was doing that, I was getting all the little blocks put together. It took about four weeks for us to get it finished."

Creating the quilt became a reminder of Trooper Wooten's condition for those working on it and provided a connection for people that have not met each other.

"I don't know the man but it was really emotional for me working on this quilt," Elliott added. "I knew his name and I constantly thought about and prayed for him while I was making it. For some reason, I was really connected to this quilt and his story."

On September 23rd, officers from the Claremont Police Department, along with Elliott, presented the quilt to officers from the NCSHP.

"Troopers will transfer this special quilt to Chris and are thankful for the respect displayed by our law enforcement partners at the Claremont Police Department," shared NCSHP Master Trooper Swagger.

The relationship between law enforcement agencies often presents as professional assistance on calls or with investigations, but when necessary, it also presents as a community coming together to provide a little support.