When 10 sheriffs from across the country came to the White House to sit down with President Trump at his invitation Tuesday, Chester County's sheriff received a place of honor.
"They seated me right next to the president. It was wonderful," said Carolyn "Bunny" Welsh, who met with Trump as an executive committee member of the National Sheriffs' Association. "He was very open and very gracious."
Trump went around the table asking the sheriffs to talk about anything they wanted and "listened intently to each one," Welsh said, adding that she thanked him for his support for law enforcement.
Trump said his administration "will make every effort to stop drugs and crime from flowing into the country, put an end to the opioid epidemic, secure the borders, keep terrorists out, and strengthen the bonds between state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies," according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
Trump is scheduled to speak to several hundred more sheriffs Wednesday.
Welsh's seat assignment at the more intimate meeting Tuesday was a fitting position for the Chester County sheriff: She was one of the first elected officials in the Philadelphia area to support Trump publicly.
Welsh, who grew up Upper Darby and lives in Chadds Ford, went to Cleveland as a Trump delegate at the Republican National Convention and traveled throughout the state in support of him. She has met his daughters Ivanka and Tiffany; his son; Eric, and his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. She spoke at a rally for Trump in Berwyn just before Election Day.
Welsh said the sheriffs were "very enthused" when they left their meeting with the president on Tuesday.
"I said, 'Remember, Pennsylvania is the state that put you over the top,'" Welsh said. "He laughed about that. He patted me on the arm and said, 'Yes, I remember that. Good job.'”
In a statement, the National Sheriffs' Association called the meeting "a productive discussion."
"America’s sheriffs are at the tip of the spear in dealing with border security and are greatly encouraged that much-needed solutions to solve illegal immigration challenges are at the top of the agenda," the association said.