By Mehgaan Jones
A Public Safety Appreciation Day, Wednesday, started with a luncheon and the sounds of the 'Bad Boys' theme song, from the popular show "Cops," playing in the background.
The Knights of Columbus, Tara Council #6352, a Catholic service group, hosted an appreciation awards ceremony and luncheon for Clayton County officials, on Wednesday morning.
The ceremony was held at the John C. Gavel, Jr. Hall, at 481 Flint River Road, in Jonesboro.
Awards were given to various public safety officials and responders from cities across the county.
The Public Safety Professional of the Year award was given, in the form of a plaque, to Lieutenant Nicole Gould, of the Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services Department.
"I am very honored to win this...I love my job, and I want to thank the Knights of Columbus," said Gould.
Father John Kozial, OFM Conv., of the Saint Philip Benizi Catholic Church, opened the ceremony with a prayer of thanks and protection.
"Figuratively and literally, they place their lives on the line each day to serve their brothers and sisters...," he said.
Following the invocation, the Master of Ceremonies, Gordon Satkowiak, lead the audience in the pledge of allegiance.
Charlie Scherer, Grand Knight of the Tara Council, welcomed authorities to the 38th annual Public Safety Appreciation Day. "It is our privilege to honor all of you," he said.
Clayton County Commissioner Wole Ralph also spoke during the program. "We call all citizens to join us, as we honor those who put their lives on the line for us everyday," he said.
The Knights of Columbus called upon the students at Our Lady of Mercy High School, in Fayettevile, to participate, in an essay contest, according to Charlie Scherer. The winner of the contest was Robert Gould, a junior, at Our Lady of Mercy.
The subject of the essay was 'What students do to support public safety.' Gould received a certificate, and a $100 savings bond.
He read the essay to the attendees. "It is great to be recognized by the Knights of Columbus," he said.