Valdosta Daily Times

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February 6, 2013

Valdosta's law-enforcement appreciation dinner scheduled for Feb. 21

VALDOSTA — For the sixth year, the Rotary Club of Valdosta hosts its annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 21, when officers of the year will be recognized.

Tickets for the event are on sale for $100 a seat or $1,000 for a table of 10. All proceeds each year go into a fund that aids law-enforcement officers facing personal issues, such as a death in the family, serious illness, etc.

James Dorminey of the Rotary Club said it’s an honor to be able to assist officers in their time of need, as they are always there to help others in their time of need.

The guest speaker for the evening is Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. In his current position, it is Olens’ job to be the state’s prosecutor and legal expert, and he works extensively with law-enforcement agencies across the state.

However, Olens’ appreciation for the officers who put their lives on the line every day stems from his time as the chairman of the Cobb County Commission.

“I came to really respect all they do for us. It’s like a soldier who’s called to duty every day — we seldom take the time to thank them for their service,” said Olens.

Although he deals daily with pressing issues facing the state, Olens said his speech at the banquet will solely focus on the issues faced daily by law enforcement.

“Years ago, when I was a new commissioner, it really was brought home for me one day when I was walking into a breakfast place and a uniformed officer was walking out. A man and his son were going in right ahead of me, and the man made a negative comment that the officer was probably just there to eat doughnuts,” said Olens. “I called him out on it and told him I thought that was rude. These officers come to your aid when you dial 911, and they are always there to help you.”

Olens said law enforcement does not receive the respect it deserves, and more often than not, they are taken for granted.

“This will be my opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to them,” Olens said.

Tickets for the Sixth Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner can be purchased online at www.LEADDinner.com. The event will be held at the Rainwater Conference Center, with a reception beginning at 6 p.m. and dinner from 7-8:30 p.m., Feb. 21.

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