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Graves County Sheriff eyes support from community amid pressure

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Graves County Sheriff Det. Snapper Seaton accepts gift bags from two Mayfield churches Monday.
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Courtesy: Graves County Sheriffs Office

MAYFIELD, KY (WSIL) -- Despite the increasing pressure of the job with national narratives of defunding police, protest angst against law enforcement and the threat of Covid-19 the Graves County Sheriff's Office is experiencing a outpouring of support.

"Extremely thoughtful," Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden said. "Without a doubt - It lifts the spirits of the employees."

Graves County Det. Snapper Seaton took out from his investigations Monday to accept gift bags from two Mayfield churches (Lebanon Church of Christ and Bethel Church of Christ).

The bags were full of stationary and pens, hand sanitizer, snacks and gum and gift cards to local restaurants.

In the last week they've received a couple dozen cards and hand written notes from all over the community.

For example, Jo Ann Collins of Farmington, KY wrote to the Sheriff,
"Thank you for all you and your deputies do for Graves County."
She included a Holy Bible verse from Galatians 5:22-23. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

The Sheriff took to social media Tuesday to express his gratitude.

"We would like to take a moment and thank everyone that has sent cards of encouragement to our agency. Our world is facing many challenges right now, as well as those in the law enforcement profession," the Facebook post read in part.

Hayden said the coorespondence has made a difference in morale.

"With the environment of what's going on nationally for a lot of our employees it's easy for our morale to get down. And it's refreshing to know that the overwhelming majority of the public young and old appreciate what these men and women are doing."

Graves County has 23 sworn officers and a number of non-sworn office staff.

So far this year law enforcement numbers across the country have been impacted more from Coronavirus then armed confrontation. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks in the line of duty deaths, 116 officers have died so far this year.

The majority, 51, have been killed from the coronavirus, while 27 of those deaths were from gunfire. None in Graves County.

"We have our pockets of problems as well. Geographically we're a very large county. We're very rural," Hayden said. "It lifts them up everyday when they come into the office and see these cards that people are sending in - words of encouragement. It helps them to know people do appreciate what they're doing."

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Jonathan Brines

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