Community leaders and those who serve and protect that community sat down together Tuesday to break bread — cornbread, with fried chicken, black-eyed peas, macaroni and cheese and peach cobbler.
The location was Sistas’ Kitchen at 128 Old Jesup Road and the occasion was the Second Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, sponsored by the community action groups Wickforce Inc. and Political Emergency Action 397. The event recognized outstanding service from members of the Brunswick and Glynn County police departments, along with sheriff’s office deputies and Georgia State Patrol troopers.
More importantly, said co-organizer Bobby Hall, the event allowed law enforcement officers and local African-American leaders to sit face-to-face and recognize a common commitment toward bettering their shared community.
“We want to stop all the violence and to make our community a model community,” said Hall, who gave the event’s invocation. “By us coming together, this is a step in the right direction. We can make Glynn County a better place. Just think what we can do if the whole community comes together.”
Former Brunswick Mayor Pro Tem James Brooks Sr.’s gratitude for law enforcement’s role in the community was evident during his introduction.
“I want to thank all the officers who put their lives on the line each and every day to keep us protected,” he said.
The Rev. Zack Lyde of Wickforce Inc. said events such as this help seal trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
“We’re trying to take responsibility for the black community and be proactive,” Lyde said. “We need a good, working relationship with the police to do that. This helps us open a dialogue.”
Those honored in the Brunswick Police Department were: Cpl.. Evelyn Timmons, Cpl.. Marsha Myers-Bue, Det. Carla Futch, Lt. Donald Babbin, Capt. Anthony Smith, Maj. Gregory Post, and Chief Kevin Jones. Brunswick firefighter Aaron Joiner also was recognized.
Others honored were Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Rodney Rozier and trooper Johnathan Malone; and sheriff’s deputies David Trawick and Daniel Williams; Glynn County police officers Donald Walker and Ronald Walker; and county Emergency Management Agency Director Jay Wiggins.
Brunswick’s Chief Jones said such gatherings can go along way toward establishing trust within communities.
“It’s an exercise in building bridges,” Jones said. “It shows that the officers’ community police efforts are appreciated and recognized. It builds them up and makes them feel appreciated.”