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Posted: September 2, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Our Thoughts... InVEST in the NCSO

By of the grace of God and the protection of a safety vest, two sheriff deputies — Jim Trent and Wesley Atha — are still around to celebrate life with their families, friends and neighbors.

Both deputies were shot for no reason by an apparently troubled young man, who later took his own life.

Across the country this type of violence against law enforcement officials has become commonplace.

We are grateful that in the past, county officials had the wisdom to allow the sheriff to purchase these bullet-proof vests for our deputies. Unfortunately, because of the current economic downturn, county officials are not in the position to use tax revenue to purchase updated vests for our law enforcement officers.

Our community has always been proud to take care of the needs of their own.

This is the time to step up and do that again.

It is of paramount importance that we ensure the necessary protection of our law enforcement officers.

The family of Deputy Atha has started a campaign to raise $113,000 to purchase state-of-the-art protective vests for all deputies employed by the NCSO.

Sheriff Ezell Brown has thrown his full support behind this effort.

We also feel that this is a project in which each Newton County resident can be proud to participate.

To that end, The Covington News has made a monetary contribution and we challenge every business and civic group in the community to contribute what they can.

We also challenge our readers to contribute what they can. Money can be raised through fundraisers, church collections, lemonade stand sales, etc. No donation is too small.

For the next year or until the fundraising goal is met, we will run a list of contributors and the total amount raised so far in every Friday edition of the paper.

The running list of individuals, businesses and civic groups who have contributed will run daily on CovNews.com.

If you have pictures or stories from your fundraiser, drop them or mail to our office at 1166 Usher Street or e-mail them to news@covnews.com.

We will try our best to run the news of your fundraiser either in the paper or on the Web site.

This is a project that all of us can participate in to show our law enforcement officials and their families that we are proud of their courageous efforts in placing themselves in harms way daily in order to protect us.

Please make checks payable to Newton Co. Sheriff’s Office and earmarked for safety vests and equipment and mail to NCSO c/o April Jones, 15151 Alcovy Road, Covington, Ga. 30014.

Your contribution is tax deductible.

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