COVINGTON, Ga. — The Newton County Sheriff’s Office will host a range of events throughout the county as part of a national effort to connect the law enforcement community with the public Friday through Sunday, Oct. 8 to 10.
The Covington Police Department will partner with the sheriff's office on National Faith and Blue Weekend and also will assist Porterdale's police chief in his annual effort to honor fallen K-9 officers, organizers said..
National Faith and Blue Weekend is a "collaborative effort to build bridges and break biases" between the law enforcement community and the public.
It is set to kick off in Newton County on Friday, Oct. 8, at 10:30 a.m. with the Rev. M. Edwin Beckham of the Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal blessing local K-9 Units at the Newton County Sheriff’s Office at 15151 Alcovy Road in Covington.
“We welcome all surrounding law enforcement agencies to join us for this blessing,” a news release stated.
Following the K-9 Blessing, Sheriff Ezell Brown will host a virtual discussion at the sheriff’s office with local police chiefs and clergy about community policing development.
Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton, Porterdale Police Chief Jason Cripps and Oxford Police Chief Dave Harvey are Newton County chiefs who have confirmed their participation either directly or through a spokesman.
Other events are set to include:
Saturday, Oct. 9
• From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the sheriff's office is hosting a vaccination drive-through with Piedmont Newton Hospital, CORE Community Organize Relief Efforts, and Greater Love Fellowship Tabernacle at the West Side Precinct in the Kroger shopping center at 3612 Salem Road.
Individuals will have the opportunity to receive their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. This event will be first come, first served, a news release stated.
• From 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. the sheriff's office is hosting a car and bike show at the Church At Covington at 11975 Hwy. 142 in Oxford.
There will be a $20 entry fee for all show participants. Awards will be given to the winning bikes and cars.
For those interested in entering their car or bike into the show, please contact Sgt. Jack Redlinger at 678-300-7877.
Sunday, Oct. 10
• On Sunday, Oct. 10, beginning at 4 p.m., the sheriff's office has partnered with Bethlehem Baptist Church and Southern Cruisers to host a gathering on the Covington Square, followed by a prayer service.
For any questions about the the sheriff's office's participation in this year’s National Faith and Blue Weekend, call Deputy Tim Smith at 770-883-0324 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Caitlin Jett at 678-544-6289 or email@example.com.
Covington Police Department will partner with the sheriff’s office on its events plus participate in some other events, including:
• Saturday, Oct. 9, 11 a.m., “Faith and Blue and Bikes” at Murray Memorial Church, 4100 N. West St., Covington.
• Sunday, Oct.10, 10:30 a.m., “Faith and Blue Clear View” with the theme, “Building Positive Relations with Law Enforcement,” at Clear View Ministries Church, 1176 Elm St. NE, Covington.
National organizers "represent every major national law enforcement membership and professional organization in the United States and every faith tradition."
Atlanta-based social change group MovementForward Inc. and the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services are leading the effort nationally.
FirstNet Built with AT&T and the Motorola Solutions Foundation are sponsors.
"At the heart of this initiative is the reinforcement of connections between law enforcement professionals and the communities they serve through the reach of houses of worship. There is no resource that can match the depth of the faith community in facilitating productive engagement with law enforcement, which is needed now more than ever," a news release stated.
For more information on National Faith and Blue Weekend, visit faithandblue.org.
• Porterdale's Chief Cripps also is hosting the 13th annual National K9 Memorial event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Porter Memorial Gym at 2201 Main St. in Porterdale.
Covington Police are among the agencies represented in the event, which organizers say is the nation's only annual memorial event for fallen police dogs.
In case of rain, organizers say they will move the event to Grace Baptist Church from Porter gym, which is an open air facility.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/WRTPK9.