Effingham Co. Sheriff’s Office holding annual Faith and Blue event

Faith and Blue
Faith and Blue(WTOC)
Published: Oct. 8, 2022 at 3:53 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM CO., Ga. (WTOC) - It’s national Faith and Blue Weekend a weekend that focuses on police departments connecting with their communities.

It first started in 2020 and now, two years later, almost 700 communities are participating including some in our area.

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office held their local Faith and Blue event Saturday, which Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie says is meant to build relationships with the people that his department, and other emergency services agencies, are there to protect.

“Law enforcement in general, when they leave the house every morning, their idea is to go out and keep people safe. Make the streets safe for people to enjoy and have a good time, not to lock up people or make them not speed, just keeping people safe. We’re people just like everybody else is, and we have friendships and we have relationships that we want to build,” Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy Mcduffie said.

And there’s no better way to do it than by having a little fun. At Faith in Blue, members of the Sheriff’s Office took turns sitting in a dunk tank there were bounce houses, ponies, K-9s.

All things that law enforcement and civilians alike could enjoy together.

It was also a great opportunity to get children familiar with law enforcement, one man who brought his children to the event says.

“More of our younger youth need to be more involved in learning the history and what the law enforcement, what the fire department, and EMS, it’s just not law enforcement. It’s all the services that protect us every day,” Effingham Co. Resident Jeff Labonte said.

Sheriff McDuffie says his office is happy to serve Effingham County and events like this highlight why it’s such a special place to be.

“I tell people all the time, it’s the greatest county in the greatest state in the greatest country. I’ll argue that point with anybody. But it’s really important for us to do this, meet the community, meet the folks that’s out there, and get them knowing us.”

There was also a prayer said every half hour during the event, which McDuffie says just brought everyone closer together.

During the day, the Sheriff’s Office also held the Deputy Duck Derby.

Folks raced rubber ducks in a ‘homemade’ river, and the top five finishers in each race won a prize.

The race doubled as a fundraiser for the Georgia Sheriff Youth Homes, which provides full-time residential care for at-risk children.

Sheriff McDuffie says there are five campuses across the state and the proceeds of the fundraiser goes towards helping kids that stay there.

“It gives them a home and a place to go to, and they can stay at those youth homes as long as they need to. Any time that we can raise money to benefit those youth homes, that’s what we need to do. It’s a big thing throughout the state. We’ve got 159 sheriffs that all try to do benefits and different things like this to help bring that money in to help keep those youth homes running.”