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Police fellowship at Christmas lunch

Police, fire, government officials celebrate Christmas with meal

Photo by Elaine Rackley
Clayton County Police command staff were seated at the head table during the County’s first police luncheon held Wednesday at police headquarters in Jonesboro.

Photo by Elaine Rackley Clayton County Police command staff were seated at the head table during the County’s first police luncheon held Wednesday at police headquarters in Jonesboro.

JONESBORO — Clayton County Police Department held its first ever Christmas Luncheon Wednesday.

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Photo by Elaine Rackley Police chiefs from around the county, along with representatives from Congressman David Scott’s office and other law enforcement personnel, were on hand for the first Clayton County Police Christmas Luncheon.

Politicians, school representatives and law enforcement officers from around the county broke bread together to celebrate the Christmas season Wednesday, at 11 a.m., at the Clayton County police headquarters located at 7911 North McDonough Street, in Jonesboro.

“It is very important the community understands the dedication of the local law enforcement — more specifically, the Clayton County Police Department,” said Clayton County police Chief Greg Porter. “This is a time of joy and happiness for law enforcement and the community it serves. We invited what I believe to be the community stakeholders. I encourage the Clayton County community as a whole to have a safe Christmas and we will be doing everything we can to ensure that it will be.”

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Photo by Elaine Rackley Clayton County Board of Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell prepares his plate during the First annual Clayton County Police Christmas Luncheon.

Among the crowd of law enforcement personnel, county and government officials were State Rep.-elect Mike Glanton, Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell, Solicitor General Tasha Mosley and Assistant Fire Chief Landry Merkisen, Fire Deputy Chief Blaine Clark and sheriff’s office Chief Deputy Garland Watkins.

Mosley said the event provided a unique opportunity for the guests.

“This was a great idea, to be able to sit down with my fellow law enforcement community and be merry and happy,” Mosley said. “We are not in here talking about business. Hopefully, we will continue this tradition.”

Glanton said the county’s law enforcement was the best in the state, lead by professional men and women. He said the Christmas luncheon gave him a chance to personally let them know that they are some of the finest leaders in Georgia.

“This is a great opportunity for leaders in the community to come together and show our appreciation to our men and women in law enforcement.” he said.

“We are overjoyed to be here, we work with the police department every day,” Merkisen said. “Normally, our interactions are on emergency calls in the streets. So, it’s nice to be able to come in doors and fellowship with the police department during this holiday season.”

Saint Leo University representative Michelle Simmons and Motorola representative Lavinia Miller are community stakeholders of the police department, according to Porter.

Porter said the university plays a major role in what the police department does in the community. He commended Simmons in her efforts to recruit and encourage public safety personnel to continue their education.

“We appreciate the work of the public safety,” Simmons said. “We try to provide a faith-based liberal arts education with degrees that hold value. We strive to make a difference in adults lives by incorporating core values and academic excellence.”

Saint Leo University is a Florida-based Catholic University, founded in 1889, with campuses located in Morrow, Duluth and Marietta.

“This is something that has been long needed in the public safety community,” Watkins said. “We very rarely get a chance to fellowship with each other and it is significantly important this being a holiday season.”

Riverdale Public Safety Director and Police Chief Samuel Patterson said he also enjoyed fellowshipping with other law enforcement personnel, county and state officials.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the spirit of the season on a social level with other law enforcement agencies,” Patterson said.

“We have seen the best and worst of people,” said Lake City Police Chief David Colwell. “It’s nice to be able to share a meal like this during the holidays.”