GUYTON, GA (WTOC) - When Guyton showed up and spoke out last weekend, it was more than a conversation that started.
"It's just an opportunity for all of us to get together and know we are here as one county," said Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie, who met with members of the community over the weekend. "We are not a divided entity."
That sense of togetherness was both goal and reward Saturday for the Unity in the Community event at the Guyton Gym.
Organizers hope to get people talking and when they did, the community benefited from what was said.
"The people that were here I feel made a difference and made an impact," said Salina Lee, a former Guyton resident who organized the event for her hometown. "Word of mouth is better than any advertising you can get. So, maybe once they hear that we made this happen, when we put on the next event, we'll have a bigger turnout."
The Effingham County Sheriff's Department led the dialogue but said the most with their presence
"They were here," said Lee. "When I asked them to come out and do this, they were here. So, that meant a lot just to see so many uniforms in the building meant so much to me because that was the purpose."
How to interact with law enforcement was the main focus of an event that also included pastors, former school principals and elected officials.
It was open to all corners of the community to express themselves.
"They're not going to call my office and ask questions. They're not going to ask in an open forum," McDuffie said of the people who attended the event. "But we can get one on one and answer those questions and get them to understand where we're coming from and why we do what we do the way we do it."