Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
(L-r) Clayton County police Lt. Marc Richards, Jay Shah, Clayton County Commission Chairman Jeff Turner, Nayana Shah, Shawn Hooks, Deputy Chief Chris Butler, Clayton County police Chief Greg Porter and Detective Tim Owens.
By Kathy Jefcoats
LOVEJOY — At Firehouse Subs, it’s not all about the sandwich.
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based corporation formed a Public Safety Foundation about eight years ago and has donated nearly $6 million to first responder and public safety agencies in 36 states and Puerto Rico. The foundation has spread out more than a half million in Georgia.
Clayton County got a meaty share of the dough Wednesday with a $16,700 surveillance pole camera donated to the police department. The donation was made at the Firehouse Sub on Tara Boulevard in Lovejoy.
Chief Greg Porter and about a dozen officers attended the ceremony. Clayton County Commission Chairman Jeff Turner, a former police chief, also attended.
“I really appreciate what the store is doing in making the donation, and appreciate the support,” said Turner. “The camera should go a long way in helping the police department fight crime in the county.”
Porter said the donation positively reflects the initiatives of the police department.
“It promotes our Community-Oriented Policing program,” he said. “It shows that the business community is committed to help us with our crime-fighting efforts. It’s a partnership and we appreciate them thinking of law enforcement by providing us with this grant.”
Firehouse Subs area representative Shawn Hooks said community service is a major focus for the company.
“We work very closely with communities,” she said. “It is one of the rewarding parts of working for this company, to be able to give back to the agencies that serve and protect every day.”
Porter said such an expensive camera probably wouldn’t get priority in the county budget but it is a necessary piece of equipment.
“Having the camera eliminates having to tie up resources in certain situations,” he said. “Instead of sending an officer into certain areas, we can send in the pole camera to see what’s going on. It takes an officer out of harm’s way and it enhances our ability to be more effective as a law enforcement agency.”
Hooks said the camera can help officers in tactical and surveillance operations search through rubble and debris following a structural collapse, allowing them to rescue victims in a timely manner.
“It’s a much-needed and well-deserved piece of equipment,” said Hooks. “It’s cutting-edge equipment that is usually cut from a budget or officials don’t allocate enough money to buy it. It’s a big honor for Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation to be able to do this.”
Nayana and Jay Shah are the franchisees in Lovejoy. They said they were happy to be able to help.
“It’s an honor to give back to the people who give to us every day,” said Nayana Shah.
Firehouse Subs was founded by former firefighters and brothers Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen.