By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Lawrenceville Police families gather for fellowship

By Katie Hart Smith
Staff Correspondent

The Lawrenceville Police Department (LPD), their families, and retirees came together for an evening of fellowship on Saturday, July 23, 2016.

In the wake of the recent assaults on police officers across the country, the tragedies and after effects were heartfelt.

Caleb Paul Concert190Right: Singer/songwriter, Caleb Paul, sings for the LPD officers and their families.

The LDP family gathering and concert idea sparked after Michele Byers, a LPD officer’s wife, read a Facebook post and viewed a country music artist’s music video. Byers enjoyed hearing the song, “Thin Blue Line,” a song inspired and written by Caleb Paul after the loss of three Baton Rouge police officers. According to his Facebook post, Paul said, “’Thin Blue Line’ is me interpreting the life of police officers to civilians. They aren’t machines. They are people with families who do a tough job.” Paul, who served as a police officer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and is a United Sates Army veteran, wanted to give back and decided to create the “Thin Blue Line” mini concert, touring  and playing for police departments, officers, and their families across the southeast.

Group pic190Left: (L to R) Major Paul King, Alayne and L.C. Smith, and Mayor Judy Johnson

Byers exchanged phone calls and texts with Paul’s tour manager. With a date set, Byers, LPD’s Chief Randy Johnson, and his staff put the rest of the wheels into motion. Sergeant Barry Honea’s wife, Kelly, said, “The dinner and private concert event at the LPD tonight was exactly what we needed, a chance for our blue family to get together and enjoy each other’s company. A small pocket of time in which we could forget about the turmoil that our country is in and just be. We needed this. A big thank you to the LPD and those that helped set this up for recognizing that.”

Lawrenceville Mayor, Judy Johnson and City Councilman, Keith Roche also attended the event. Families ate dinner together as one – the LPD family – that night. Food was provided by The Patty Wagon food truck and Kona Ice. 

ThePattyWagon190Right: Dinner was provided by Dan Silverio’s The Patty Wagon food truck.

There has been an outpouring of appreciation for the law enforcement officers throughout the Gwinnett community and across the country. The Georgia Jeepers, a faith-based club whose mission is to serve others and help those in need, even dropped off goodie bags earlier that day for the LPD officers.

Retired detective, Sergeant L.C. Smith enjoyed the evening, reconnecting with former colleagues and meeting the newest recruits. Smith smiled and said, “It was a pat on the back that law enforcement needed at this time.”