By Terry Harris
The Faith and Blue Day event at the Sussex County Public Schools Complex on October 22 was blessed with perfect weather. And from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., the event sponsored by the Sussex County Sheriff’s Department blessed those in attendance with abundant great music as well as free food, a car show with numerous trophies, informational and fun booths, and special games for the children in attendance.
Along with the sheriff’s department, the Sussex County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Virginia State Police, local EMS and Fire departments, faith organizations, churches, local businesses, civic organizations, and other members of the community participated in providing the event, which was free and open to the public,
VA House District 75 Delegate H. Otto Wachsmann, Jr., who was out enjoying the day and the opportunity to interact with his constituents, enthused, “It’s a great day! Sun’s out! Beautiful day! It’s so nice that people can get out again with the public . I just finished judging the car show and it’s just phenomenal – especially the people here supporting the faith community and the Sheriff’s department.”
Southampton County Sheriff Wyche, who also is president of a gospel singing group that was unable to attend, came out for the event and brought his niece, and the two shared some well-received gospel singing.
Sheriffs Wyche and Giles even danced a bit, providing their own interpretation of Walking the Dog while soloist James Curry from Petersburg entertained the crowd with that and a number of other crowd-pleasing songs.
“I’d like to thank Sheriff Giles for inviting us to participate,” Wyche said.” This is just such a beautiful event and a beautiful day to be having such an event. I think it’s excellent! It’s just beautiful to see the community and the police come together for a common cause – to look after our people. It takes the public helping the police to do the job that we do – that extra set of ears and eyes out there. Faith and Blue is a great program.”
Billed as “a collaborative effort to build bridges and break biases,” Sheriff Giles said afterward of the event, ”I was glad to see the community come out and enjoy themselves. Our goal is to create safer and stronger communities by connecting law enforcement officers and the residents we protect and serve. I’m looking forward as word gets out of this Faith and Blue effort - which is new this year to Sussex County - to having an even bigger and better turnout of our citizens next year.”