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Putting an emphasis on serve in 'protect and serve'
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With all the plight surrounding law enforcement these days, it seems that most see our boys in blue with mixed emotion.

That wasn’t the case locally this week.

Those who “protect and serve” the community in Newton County not only showed they are firm believers in both parts of law enforcement’s well-known motto, but that they take the “serve” part of that just as seriously, as they spread holiday cheer.

While law enforcement in Chicago, Ferguson, Missouri and other places throughout the country are mired in controversy, the Covington Police Department and the Newton County Sheriff’s Office are keeping alive traditions of serving our community during the holidays.

Covington police officers walked around Walmart for the annual Shop with a Cop event, each pushing a shopping cart, or walking near a child headed for the toy aisles. Passersby looked on with odd expressions - graciousness.

One Walmart customer Wednesday even stopped a local Captain in uniform and thanked him for all he did. A young admirer, shopping with that same officer, thanked him for being a cop. If that seems strange to us, perhaps we are missing something.

Each child smiled the entire time they were in the store, discussing each toy selection with a member of the CPD. The Shop with a Cop event not only served as a way for some of Covington’s children to get toys for the Christmas season, but also to bond with local law enforcement.

Later in the week, Newton County Sheriff Office deputies helped a line of motorcycle riders power through town. It wasn’t on the way to some grizzly scene, but rather a special delivery of toys in the NCSO’s 17th Annual Toy Ride.
The sight of deputies riding down the street didn’t cause people to worry if their insurance was up to date, or a tail light was out, but to smile, wave, and peer at the toys they were escorting.

Again, law enforcement became a symbol of Holiday giving, setting a positive tone throughout Newton County.
Not only were the brave men and women from both of these organizations serving those in need during the Holidays, but they were doing it with a smile on their face. The officers and deputies involved were eager to lend a helping hand and eager to brighten the day of some of their neighbors in need.

We are blessed to have the men and women in law enforcement that we do in this area, who not only work each and every day to keep our streets safe, but are also so willing to provide for others. The community has acknowledged this selflessness, not only commenting in person but also showing graciousness on social media, of all places.

Several visitors to the Covington News’ Facebook page echoed our sentiment in thanking our officers and expressed how they are making the community both a safer and happier place.

We hope our community leadership can feel the positive will from the community and realize that people desire this. There is a valuable lesson to be learned about service and how people truly respond to those who serve.

As Newton County and Covington move forward, it is imperative for actions such as those by the NCSO and CPD this week to continue. And to continue to be recognized. Will we thank our local law enforcement tomorrow? They certainly deserve it.