Paige Buchness is a four-year-old with a dream of becoming a law enforcement canine officer one day. Her mom, Jennifer, is a graduate of the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Office Citizen’s Academy. Mrs. Buchness learned a great deal about the Sheriff’s Office through her Citizen’s Academy experience and decided to nurture her daughter’s interest in law enforcement by creating an educational opportunity for Paige.

Jennifer introduced Paige to a variety of law enforcement activities including attending two police canine demonstrations this past fall. Paige and her mom also created a Thanksgiving Day project which encompassed numerous aspects of education. The goal of the Thanksgiving Day project was to raise enough funds to provide Thanksgiving dinner for deputies scheduled to work and unable to celebrate the holiday with their families.

Paige raised funds by selling pink and blue “I Support Police Officers” bracelets at a yard sale. She also sold the support bracelets one afternoon outside of the Brewing Grounds Coffee Shop in Leonardtown. Paige helped her mom fill out the order forms and collected and counted the funds raised. These various activities taught Paige the importance of community service and how to interact with others while practicing her counting and writing skills. Paige’s hard work and enthusiasm encouraged neighbors to support the project by donating side dishes and baked goods for the Thanksgiving dinner. In addition to the funds raised through the support bracelet sale, monetary contributions were made through email and Facebook. Paige raised over $200 for her project, and on Thanksgiving Day she proudly delivered Thanksgiving dinner to the deputies.

“Paige Buchness is a remarkable young lady. Her Thanksgiving meal was a very caring and generous gift to the officers and greatly appreciated. It was a pleasure to meet Paige and present her with a Sheriff’s Salute and a certificate making her a St. Mary’s County Honorary Sheriff’s Deputy. I would also like to thank Jennifer Buchness for supporting and guiding Paige through her endeavors. I hope one day Paige does fulfill her dream of becoming a police officer,” said Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron.

“We just wanted to do something nice for the Sheriff’s department as part of our educational project this year. It was a great learning opportunity for us and gave Paige and I a chance to work with some special people. She absolutely loves all police officers and she truly, at this point in her young life, wants to be a K9 officer. Paige is very excited that she is an Honorary Deputy Sheriff,” said Jennifer Buchness.