By Linda Looney-Bond
Clayton County police officers and sheriff's deputies mixed it up in a volleyball game recently to benefit a local domestic violence shelter.
Teams from the county's law enforcement agencies were among six competing in games Friday to extend a helping hand to Securus House.
"It only has 22 beds, and usually that's not enough for the women and children in our county," said Clayton County Police Lt. Tina Daniel, one of the organizers of the event.
The event raised about $900 for the Clayton County shelter, according to Mel Layne, a member of the shelter's board of directors.
"We have to provide food, clothing, transportation. Raising that money means that we're able to buy ... more," said Layne.
"I'm happy that the police department and sheriff's department can come together and have fun doing it," she said.
In addition to local law enforcement personnel, local business leaders played in the volleyball competition. There was a Century 21 team and a team from the Red Oak United Methodist Church of Stockbridge, where the event was held.
The police department nabbed the first-place trophy. The team representing the sheriff's office won second place, and third place went to the Century 21 team. The police department played against the sheriff's office and teams from different businesses.
"To advance, you play three games, and it's the best two out of three," said Daniel.
Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner was on the front lines in the volleyball games, and "he made sure that all of this was possible," Daniel said.
"It's an excellent reason to have a fund-raiser. We support them 100 percent," said Turner.
Turner said this is the first volleyball competition the police department has participated in for Securus House. "We've done other projects for them before. This isn't the first time, nor will it be the last time that we participate in a fund-raiser for Securus House," he said.
The event was "all in good, clean fun and it's an awesome thing that we can not only work together in getting bad guys, but we can work together in fun for a good cause," said Sgt. Sonja Sanchez, spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.
Sheriff Kem Kimbrough was out of town on business during the event. Chief Deputy Garland Watkins led the sheriff's office's team.
"I think this is something that would establish a better morale for our employees on both sides, whether it's for a good cause, or just to get to know each other better, and just establish that continuing relationship on and off duty," said Sanchez.
"Basically, we're trying to bring awareness to everybody, because people don't realize that every 15 seconds there's a ... person that has been victimized with domestic violence nationwide," said Daniel. "And with those numbers that's very alarming."