OCEAN CITY – Robert Douglas will bring his suicide awareness message to Ocean City this month at the Annual Ocean City Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.
The 24th Annual Ocean City Mayor’s Breakfast will take place on Friday, Jan. 17, from 7-9:15 a.m. at the Clarion Resort Hotel.
Douglas, founder and executive director of National Police Suicide Foundation (PSF), is this year’s event featured speaker. PSF was founded in 1997 and was granted 501(c) 3 status as a non-profit educational foundation. It was created due to the increasing number of suicides in the police profession, and it has grown to include emergency responders.
Douglas retired as an agent from the Baltimore City Police Department in 1994 after serving 20 years with the department, and five years as a patrol officer with the Temple Terrace Police Department in Florida.
After his police work, Douglas was the Senior Pastor at Jenkins Memorial Church in Riviera Beach, Md., where he served for the past 24 years. He served as police chaplain for FOP Lodge #3 in Baltimore City from 1988 to 2002 and as chaplain for Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms (ATF) in Washington, D.C. Douglas recently founded Compassionate Shepherd Ministries in Seaford, Del.
According to Ocean City Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Director Bruce Spangler, Douglas, who has published several books, is considered an expert in suicide awareness training and travels the nation training emergency responders. Douglas was recommended to Spangler by Wayne Cannon, who has been the event’s master of ceremonies for the past 23 years.
“Douglas is a wonderful, exciting speaker and his topic on suicide is a timely topic that affects everyone, as we all know someone that has been touched at one time or another by this,” Spangler said. “Hear the uplifting message that Mr. Douglas will share with us during these trying times that will bring hope to all.”
Spangler furthered suicide awareness is not just a topic that affects emergency responders.
“There is not a person here that has not had a good friend or family member that has considered committing suicide,” Spangler said. “Mr. Douglas will bring something that most people don’t hear, and that is the biblical portion of this topic. A lot of times you have counselors that just talk about psychological aspects but Mr. Douglas will bring it into perspective of how the bible addresses life and suicide. “This might help us learn how to help those with suicidal thoughts, and how to recognize the signs.”
Spangler, who is a retired Ocean City police officer, said the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast began in 1990 and was originally held at Dunes Manor, which the event quickly outgrew. There are usually anywhere from 400 to 450 people who attend.
Twenty-two years ago, Spangler was approached by two friends who organized the Easton Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast and the Delaware Governors Prayer Breakfast. After approaching then-Ocean City Mayor Fish Powell, who supported the concept, the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast was created.
Tickets are $16 in advance and must be purchased by Tuesday, Jan. 14. Tickets will not be sold at the door. Tables of 8-10 people can be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Tickets may be purchased through the mail by sending a check to 204 Graham Ave., Berlin, Md., 21811, or tickets can be purchased at City Hall on 3rd Street and Baltimore Ave. in Ocean City, Long and Foster Realty on 120th Street and Coastal Hwy. in Ocean City, the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce on Route 50 in West Ocean City, or Cropper Oil Company on Route 50 in Berlin.
For more information, call Spangler at 410-641-1300 or 443-235-2669.