Local law enforcement was treated to a barbecue luncheon Wednesday afternoon compliments of Sharpsburg Baptist Church.
Dr. Wallace McAbee, the church’s pastor, said this is the second time the church has hosted the event.
The inaugural event was mainly for the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, but this year, he wanted to include members of law enforcement from Senoia, Newnan and support staff.
The event was held at the church from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Some law enforcement officers ate on-site, while some carried lunch back to the precincts.
McAbee said the event was in response to recent antagonism towards law enforcement.
“This is a way for us to show our appreciation,” he said. “Most people support law enforcement and we want them to know we respect them and we appreciate the work they are doing.”
Deacon David Bearden prepared the ribs and pulled pork for the meat. To feed 200 people, it took two days of preparation and 12 hours of cooking. Bearden and volunteers for the church also prepared sides, beverages and many desserts.
“This is our way to thank them,” Bearden said. “We hope this will start a spark of fire for an appreciation of officers across the nation. When you call the police, you want someone to come.”
Deputy Adam Elbrecht with the CCSO said he appreciated the support.
“This is awesome,” he said. “We need any community support we can get. In Coweta County, we’re very fortunate to work in a city and department that supports us.”
Coweta County Sheriff Lenn Wood said the appreciation and support from the community always helps with officer morale.
“The guys feel better about what they’re doing,” Wood said. “It makes it easier for us to hire because officers want to come join because they know they have support from the community.’
Wood said he encourages all officers to be involved in the community.
“We stress this to our guys,” Wood said. “We tell them to get out and meet the people and not to just be out and police. Being involved helps us all.”
Dr. Wallace McAbee of Sharpsburg Baptist Church loads meals to be taken to local law enforcement.Adam Elbrecht, left, Sheriff Lenn Wood, middle, and Dr. Wallace McAbee, right, talk during the law enforcement appreciation luncheon.
Newnan Police Department members Cpl. Adam Griffin and Sgt. Edward Lee.Sheriff Lenn Wood, Capt. Harry Steele, and Col. Jimmy Yarbrough eat their barbecue lunch.Members from the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office salute the flag at the law enforcement appreciation lunch. From left are Col. James Yarbrough, Sheriff Lenn Wood, Maj. Stephen Crook, and Capt. Harry Steele.Officers that attended the law enforcement appreciation luncheon at Sharpsburg Baptist Church take a picture together. From left are Bobby Mills, Adam Elbrecht, Steven White and Thomas Julianna.Officers pick out desserts at the appreciation luncheon.Officer Adam Elbrecht, left, and Officer Steven White wait in line at the appreciation luncheon.Volunteers and members of Sharpsburg Baptist Church prepare dessert boxes.David Bearden prepares boxed lunches for officers. Members of Sharpsburg Baptist Church prepared desserts for the appreciation luncheon. From left are Lisa Waggoner, Karen Hayes, Lydi Ann Kettering and Betty Thomas.