By Lora Scripps
On a daily basis, police officers in Athens have a number of duties. They keep the peace, enforce the law, protect people and property and investigate crimes.
Some might see police officers in the area as mere reminders to slow down or stay out the way. Others might be curious about the person behind the badge.
Recently, an organization was formed in Athens that gives police officers an opportunity to share what they stand for with others in the community.
The organization, Behind the Badge, was created for police officers and their families.
The group’s purpose has been to work within the community to make a positive impact on the citizens of Athens and Limestone County. Behind the Badge, which currently has 37 members, also provides support for officers and their families in times of crisis and on a day-to-day basis.
The organization started after Officer Paul Tucker’s wife, Angela, approached Athens Chief Floyd Johnson about starting the group. She said that God had laid it on her heart.
Not long after, the group was formed.
Behind the Badge has already been involved in a number of community events such as Art on the Square, where they partnered with Athens Masonic Lodge and provided children in the county with free identification kits; the Family Resource Center, where members volunteered and provided free face painting for kids; and Habitat for Humanity, where several women helped a Habitat for Humanity build.
Blue Line 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run
Members are currently planning their first Blue Line 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run set for Saturday, Nov. 17, at the corner of Elkton and Pryor streets in Athens. The course is USATF/RFRTC certified.
The event, made possible by Steelcase and sponsored by the city of Athens Gas Department, Attorney Edward Alley, Attorney Kristi Valls, Osborne’s Jewelers, Davis Eye Care and Woodroof & Woodroof, starts at 8 a.m.
Awards will be given for the top-three male and female finishers in ages 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60-plus.
The cost is $25 for the Blue Line 5K and $15 for the 1-Mile Fun Run.
Proceeds go toward Behind the Badge support group to help aid in community outreach.
To register online go to Active.com.
Full Tummy Project
Currently, the group is working with the Full Tummy Project.
Athens Police Department is serving as a drop-off location for food items, which are distributed by area churches, Rotary and other organizations to needy students at city elementary schools and the intermediate school who do not receive regular meals on weekends.
Items needed include:
• Pop-top canned meals (Chef Boyardee, etc.);
• Fruit cups/pop-top canned fruit;
• Packs of peanut butter/cheese crackers;
• 100 percent juice boxes or shelf-stable milk;
• Cereal bars, pop-tarts, or individual cereal boxes;
• Granola bars;
• Gummies/fruit snacks.
All Full Tummy foods should be nonperishable, ready to eat, and easy for a child to open.