BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) — Wednesday is National Hot Dog Day and what better way to celebrate than by having a hot dog with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.
“Dogs, Deputies and Ice Cream” was a fun day full of activities for dozens of kids.
“Deputies are out here talking to the children about making the right decisions in life, fostering appreciation for law enforcement, giving away free Frisbees and doing whatever we can to have fun with the community,” Chief Lewis Blanchard said.
There was also a water slide to keep the kids cool while deputies cooked hot dogs.
Phyllis Byrd showed up for the food, but also to teach her 2-year-old granddaughter about law enforcement.
“Somebody has to protect us and the children,” she said.
All around the event, you could see law enforcement interacting with the youth.
“It’s just as great for the deputy as it is for the community. Deputies see so many negatives. They need to see that there are a lot of people that appreciate them. They’re involved in the community. Our deputies, the majority of us live here. We want to be a part of the community and make things better,” Blanchard said.
The event is part of the sheriff’s community policing effort to keep the county safe.
“You monitor the stats, wherever the most problems are happening, go into those communities the most, but in a positive way. Even if you’re there in a positive way, you’re still deterring crime at that time,” Blanchard said.
For many these days, there’s a disconnect between law enforcement and the African-American community.
This event was a positive way to bring the two together.
“We have to raise them up and let them know they’re not bad. They’re here to help to keep them safe,” Byrd said.
“The other night I happened to go into a housing project where our deputies we’re locking up three people who were selling drugs. The majority of the ladies there actually came out and thanked them. That’s something that deputies just don’t see in many places,” Blanchard said.