Law enforcement protects, serves in various ways

COVINGTON — Law enforcement officers are called on to respond to a wide range of incidents, such as violent crimes or tragic accidents. However, a great number of the calls sheriff’s deputies and police officers handle involve simply assisting the community.

“I often tell people that we do a lot more helping, aiding and assisting citizens than we do making arrests,” said Newton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Felicia Jefferson.

She said law enforcement officers not only assist people who call, but will refer them to specific services, such as mental health or domestic violence shelters.

For instance, police officers can be asked to patrol a person’s property if they are out of town for a time. In other cases, deputies have been called regarding a civil dispute between neighbors that doesn’t involve criminal activity.

Recently, an NCSO deputy served one elderly resident by providing her with some peace of mind. On Sunday, Deputy Mark Lovell was called to a duplex on Cedar Ridge Drive by a woman who feared her neighbor was “sending voodoo through the wall into her apartment,” the incident report states.

“This deputy did not detect the presence of any voodoo in the complainant’s apartment; however, I have no experience in the subject, so I could have been subjected to it and not know it,” Lovell reported.

The deputy spoke with the man in the next-door apartment, who was “very understanding and opened the door wider where I saw that he was actually watching a religious TV program with a Baptist preacher on it,” the report states.

Lovell then spoke with the elderly woman and explained to her that while he was not “well-versed in the practice of voodoo except what I had seen on TV,” he did not see anything at the neighbor’s apartment to indicate voodoo, such as dolls with pins in them or dead chickens or other spooky things.

“I also advised the complainant that I warned the neighbor that if he was sending voodoo through the walls, to stop,” Lovell stated. “The complainant was put at ease and thanked the Sheriff’s Department for their service.”

Jefferson said this incident is a good example of some of the ways law enforcement works with the “citizens we are sworn to serve and protect.”

“If it matters to them, it matters to us,” she said. “We do everything we can to help get that situation resolved.”