EVANS, Ga. (WJBF)- Abilene Baptist Church served up dinner with a side of gratitude Tuesday night.
“This is our way of saying thank you,” said Pastor Brad Whitt.
They served around 100 plates of chicken and barbeque from Shane’s Rib Shack to some of the people who serve Columbia County, from deputies to judges to district attorneys. Their families were also invited.
“It does mean some good to know that the community is behind the sheriff’s office,” said Sgt. Daniel Massey. “And we really greatly appreciate that.”
Whitt says it’s especially important to thank law enforcement in our current political climate.
“With all that’s going on in society, this is our way as a church body of just showing that we support our men and women in blue,” he said.
One deputy with 24 years of experience in law enforcement says deputies aren’t always treated as well as they are in Columbia County.
“I can’t tell you how much that means to us because as I said before, I’ve worked in towns where you were just as likely to have someone throw a rock at you when you drove by down their street,” said Deputy Ken Waller.
Deputies say by and large, the people of Columbia County are appreciative of the work the sheriff’s office does.
“We get all these positive feedback from the community,” Massey said. “They come out here to the substation and drop off little cookies and cake and things of that nature.”
That helps when you’re doing a tough job, Waller says.
“If people would just have a little compassion and understand that what we have to deal with out here…we don’t get to look at it and talk about it. We have to react. And we have to react quickly. Lives are at stake,” he said.
He says that’s why shows of compassion like this mean so much.
“I’m very very proud of what I do,” he said. “I take a great deal of pride in what I do, and it’s deeply touching when the public come’s up and says thank you for doing your job and thank you for making us feel safe.”
They will be serving dinner for again for deputies, judges, and district attorneys this Thursday at the Evans substation on Ronald Reagan drive from 5-7 p.m.