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Area salute to police draws more than 1,000
Cookout participants didn't get to just eat. They also had to listen to some speeches. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
Law enforcement personnel from throughout the area attended a cookout in their honor Thursday.
The event, which was first started in 1987 by Long County Sheriff Cecil Nobles and State Board of Corrections member Wayne Dasher, has grown from a handful of supporters to a major event in southeast Georgia.
This year’s cookout was hosted by Nobles, Tattnall County Sheriff Quinton Rush, Wayne County Sheriff John Carter and Liberty County Sheriff Don Martin.
This year’s guest was Gov. Sonny Perdue, who flew down to speak to the crowd of about 1,100.
Perdue expressed his appreciation for all the work by law enforcement, and said that he would continue to support them.
The governor also said he would help law enforcement battle methamphetamines.
“Meth started out as a primarily rural drug, but it has now spread to all areas of our communities,” Perdue said. “First of all, I will continue to support funding to battle this problem. We already have increased funding for the GBI to put more meth officers out in the field. We also are getting much better at locating meth labs where they are making the drugs. And I will continue to do all I can to deal with this problem.”
He also was asked about the upcoming presidential election.
“Well, the voters of Georgia and the nation don’t need me to tell them who to vote for, I will support whoever is elected, and I’m sure the voters will put the right person in the office.”
During his address Martin spoke about the bond between law enforcement personnel.
“Folks in this job are a real tight group. We have to work together with serious problems most of the time. It is good to have an event like this where we interact and just have a good time with each other.”
He said, “This is a great thing, and a lot of hard work goes into it, and people from Long, Bryan, Chatham, Liberty and from all over come here and have a good time.”
Dasher echoed Martin’s sentiments.
“People who go into law enforcement and corrections don’t do it for the money. They have to love what they do. This is a way to show all the different realms of the field we do appreciate what they do,” he said.
The cookout also raises money for the Georgia Sheriffs Youth Homes. According to Dasher, this year’s cookout raised about $10,000.
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