Ostensibly, it was a chance for the community to show its support for law enforcement at the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office last Tuesday evening.
But as Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie has said that his deputies could not do their jobs as well as they have without the help of the people they serve.
“People tell me how successful we’ve been as far as fighting drugs, robberies and the things that have gone on in our county, and that’s why we’ve done it, because of the community that’s come together to help us do it,” he said. “We want to do a good job, but we’ve got to have your help. By those community folks coming together and helping us, that’s why we’ve been successful.”
The sheriff also encourages his deputies to get out of their patrol cars and interact with the citizens, usually at a local store. While he has fielded complaints about the practice, Sheriff McDuffie believes it pays off.
“Every now and then, I have people call me and fuss about a deputy spending a few minutes too long at a store,” he said. “But I tell those guys, get out of those cars and get into those stores, stand around there for 15-20 minutes, because people will come up and tell you things that you need to know about in that community.
“They’re not going to flag you down when they see drive by in that brown car,” the sheriff continued. “But if they see you standing in that store talking, they will come up and talk to you and tell you things that you didn’t know about. And that’s what helps.”
The event also was a fundraiser for items needed for a sheriff’s office tactical unit.