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Sheriff's office, other agencies engage with public
Jimmy McDuffie
Cpl. Robert Petitt and his one-year-old son, Wyatt, laugh with Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie during Sunday’s Faith and Blue Open House. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD — The long arm of the law extended to embrace the public during a special event Sunday at the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.

The National Faith & Blue Open House featured personnel and equipment from the sheriff’s office, Rincon Police Department, Guyton Police Department, Springfield Police Department, Georgia State Patrol, Effingham County EMS, Effingham County Fire and Rescue, and the Rincon Fire Department. The two-hour event, a collaborative effort to build community bridges and break biases, closed with a prayer for peace.

“We’ve got a great county, a great community,” Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said. “... They want law enforcement. They want to know that they are protected.

“They may not want that speeding ticket — you know how that goes — but they want to know that we are there and we are going to protect them, and we are going to do what’s right by keeping them safe.”

Individuals and community groups frequently show their support for McDuffie and his deputies by delivering free food to them.

“We’ve gained about twenty pounds,” McDuffie said with a laugh.

McDuffie acknowledged that Effingham County some crime issues but his deputies and other agencies in the community are striving to eradicate them.

“By and large, Effingham County is still really a safe county,” he said.

Running unopposed in next month’s election, the sheriff voiced gratitude for the support he gets from taxpayers and the Effingham County Board Commissioners. 

“I’ve always told people that my job is not to make them happy. My job is to keep them safe. If I can do both, then I’m tickled,” he said.