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Monticello celebrates National L.E.A.D.

Today is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, and, across the country, businesses and organizations are demonstrating support for police officers.

South Springhill Baptist Church in Monticello plans to take part in the nationwide show of solidarity by holding a special service for local law enforcement at 10:30 a.m. Sunday on Robin Wood Road. Bishop De’Sean Toler will lead the special celebration.

“I think it’s a great thing they’re doing,” Monticello Police Chief David Stanley said.

The service is designed to bridge the gap between local police and the public. Several Monticello officers and Lawrence County sheriff’s deputies will be in attendance, and South Springhill hopes a healthy show of civic support will boost police morale.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Lawrence County Sheriff Lessie Butler said. “Because a lot of people just think about the negatives of law enforcement.”

Stanley said his officers require the encouragement of the community just as much as the community needs the help of his officers.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office also relies on public support, and Butler said his team values every person they serve.

“We try to do community policing instead of enforcement policing,” he said. “That way, the community can feel comfortable coming to us when they have a problem.”

South Springhill encourages individuals to show their appreciation by wearing blue clothing today and Sunday, sending a thank you card to the local police department or sheriff’s office and sharing a story on social media about a positive law enforcement experience.

Stanley said community gratitude is always appreciated, and his team is very proud of their town.

“We have a tremendous working relationship with the people of Monticello,” he said.

Everyone is welcome at South Springhill’s celebratory service, and law enforcement officials said they look forward to interacting with the public.

“Even if you’re not a member of the church, we’d love to have you come and show your support,” Stanley said.