Law Enforcement Appreciation Day celebrated Tuesday

Sgt. Willie Williams says being in law enforcement is more than a job, it's a lifestyle.

Photo: Kailey McCarthy

Law Enforcement Officers put their lives on the line every day to keep our community safe.

On Tuesday, the U.S. celebrated National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

FOX 31 spent the day with the Crisp County Sheriff's Office to find out what being in law enforcement means to them.

Sgt. Willie Williams has been in law enforcement now for 29 years.

He says being an officer takes something special.

“It’s something that you’ve got to love. Something you want to do, you’ve got to get up, want to get up every morning and go and serve people and put your life on the line to make sure nothing happens to them," said Williams.

Williams says being in law enforcement is much more than a job to him, it's a way of life.

“Getting up every morning knowing that I’m going to do something for the citizens of my community and this country, make sure I’m there for them.”

Deputy Jake Kelley knew in high school that one day he wanted to be in law enforcement.

He quickly found a mentor in Sheriff Billy Hancock.

“My Junior year of high school, I started becoming close with Sheriff Hancock and never really lost sight of that. When I got on up and started in my career, he still stayed in contact and then started tossing around the idea of law enforcement," said Kelley.

Kelley says his favorite part about the job is helping kids get on the right track.

“15, 20 years from now, when that kid walks up to you at Wal-Mart and says hey you know, you caught me shoplifting in the store when I was 12 years old, you know you scolded me, took me home to my parents and you said you know we want what’s best for you, and I realized there was somebody who loved me in this community," said Kelley.

Lifelong law enforcement supporter Tom Gieryic began a "Back the Blue" campaign in Albany three years ago.

Gieryic says it's important to reflect on what officers do to keep us safe.

"Just imagine, imagine a world without police officers you know. Somebody does something to you or whatever I mean, if you can’t take care of yourself then who’s going to do it if there weren’t any," said Gieryic.

You can purchase "Back the Blue" merchandise from Gieryic at his automotive shop.

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