A young man who spent five years in the Perryville Police Department's outreach program is preparing to depart for training to become part of a Marine Corps security team designated to protect the U.S. ambassador to Japan.
Pfc. Joseph Immel, who spent five years in the outreach program, gave a report on the program's activities during March to the Perryville mayor and commissioners during their meeting Tuesday.
Mayor Jim Eberhardt asked the 18-year-old, who was wearing his Marine uniform, what his future plans are.
Immel, a 2013 graduate of Perryville High School who has spent about a year in the Marines, said he had completed his first round of training and would soon be leaving for Quantico, Va., for his security training.
He said he had been "hand selected" by the commandant of the Marine Corps for the training program. He said he will spend three to five months in training and will spend three years in Okinawa, Japan.
Immel also gave credit to the outreach program, which is open to youths between the ages of 8 and 18.
"When I first arrived, I was bad," he said. "I basically thought I was untouchable."
He said the services and people available through the outreach program "helped me calm down and helped control my anger throughout the years."
Immel said later that he had completed training as a combat noncommissioned officer, and while at Quantico will train to be a civil affairs NCO.
He said he will be part of the team providing security to the U.S. ambassador as well as the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. when they visit his area.
Immel said via text message that his duties will include ensuring his fellow marines "look good" and the area is secure for the ambassadors' visit.
The mayor and Commissioners Michelle Linkey, Raymond Ryan III and Alan Fox shook Immel's hand and thanked him for his service. Commissioner Barbara Brown was absent Tuesday.
While Perryville residents Robert and Betty Lay were not at Tuesday's meeting, the mayor thanked them for their years of service on the town's Election Board.
The Lays recently retired from the board – Robert had served since 1996 and Betty since 2009.
Eberhardt thanked the Lays for volunteering for the Election Board and acknowledged the other volunteers who make up various town boards. He also presented plaques meant for the Lays.
"It is volunteers like the Lays who help this community function," he said.
The commissioners voted 4-0 later in the meeting to appoint Sheron Alexander to an alternate position on the Election Board.
The commissioners and mayor voted 4-0 in favor of a grant agreement with American Forests, a Washington, D.C.-based conservation group dedicated to protecting and expanding forests across the country by planting trees, according to the organization's website.