In celebration of National First Responders Day on Oct. 28, JCPenney is proud to honor some of the community heroes the company has within its own team. Whether its associates who spend their free time serving their local police departments or the spouse of an associate who works as a first responder, the Company is committed to standing with its communities and making it count for the people who go above and beyond every day to protect and serve.
From Oct. 27 to Nov. 2, JCPenney is also celebrating the resilience of the first responder community by highlighting their robust assortment of hard-working men’s and women’s fashion in “The WorkShop,” a curated collection of the highest-rated and most durable product.
Read below for stories from some of the first responders within the JCPenney community.
Dewey Melton, senior merchandise operations lead at JCPenney and volunteer with the Frisco, Texas Police Department
Dewey volunteers as part of the Frisco, Texas Police Department’s Volunteer Association, the FPVA. As a volunteer, Dewey patrols alongside police officers to take on less risky tasks, including helping control traffic at accidents, supporting stranded motorists and serving on neighborhood patrols. Offering support for lower-priority tasks frees up officers to respond to more dangerous tasks. Dewey has been volunteering for 10 years.
Sherrie Warden, general manager at the JCPenney store in Vienna, West Virginia and reserve deputy sheriff with the Washington County, Ohio Sheriff’s Department
Sherrie has spent her free time serving as a reserve deputy sheriff in her Ohio community for more than 20 years. She supported her community in Athens, Ohio for 10 years and has spent the last decade as a reservist in Washington County, Ohio. Sherrie dedicates her time to supporting the Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (S.A.L.T.) program in Washington County, working to conduct safety checks and build relationships with vulnerable seniors in her community.
Sherrie’s community service has strenghtened her relationships with many of the JCPenney customers that shop at her store in Vienna, West Virginia, where she works as the general manager. She shares her love of the law with her husband, Mark Warden, chief deputy sheriff with the Washington County Sheriff’s department and a 36-year veteran of the department. Sherrie and Mark are proud to serve their community, and Sherrie is especially proud of her husband, who is currently a candidate for Sheriff. Mark also received an award for saving the life of a 90-year-old woman after performing CPR on her during his lunch break. Sherrie says her husband is not only her personal hero, but a community hero, too.
Jose Michael Scott Jr., husband to Tamara Scott, a senior business analyst
Sergeant Jose Michael Scott, a 17-year-veteran of the Dallas Police Department, goes above and beyond as a police officer. While on patrol in Dallas’ southwest side, he also distributes socks, clothes and shoes to homeless people he encounters – items he carries with him regularly in his squad car. Jose also saves his gas station rewards points to purchase food and beverages for residents who are going though a hard time.
His wife, Tamara, says that Jose understands the importance of respecting every person in the community, but especially those who are less fortunate. “He not only protects and serves his community, but he genuinely cares about them,” she said.
Robert Zalewski and Diana March, children of Marzena Zalewski, a detail assistant
Marzena Zalewski has the honor of having not one but two first responders in her family – her son, Officer Robert Zalewski and her daughter, Diana March. Robert joined the East Hartford, Connecticut Police Department in 2021, where he regularly clocks in in overtime shifts to help his squad deal with neighborhood issues from traffic accidents to shoplifting. Marzena’s daughter, Diana, has worked as a nurse in the Hartford Hospital’s emergency department for more than five years. Diana worked through the COVID-19 pandemic, taking on additional shifts to support the overwhelming number of patients in need and speaking out about the need to address nursing shortages in her community.
Occasionally, Robert and Diana’s professional paths cross as they work to support members of the community. In those moments, Marzena says she’s overwhelmed with pride for her children. “They never know what the next shift will bring but they both have the same goal – to help others,” she said.