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APD: Holiday dinner for community successful

A line streamed in the door at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday as the Albany Police Department Family Protection Unit served a free dinner to almost 100 people in the first 10 minutes. The dinner, which was open to the public, was the first by the unit and it was held at the Bill Miller Community Center.

A line streamed in the door at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday as the Albany Police Department Family Protection Unit served a free dinner to almost 100 people in the first 10 minutes. The dinner, which was open to the public, was the first by the unit and it was held at the Bill Miller Community Center.

ALBANY — It seemed like there was no one there, then the next thing a line of about 100 stretched out the door.

People lined up at the Bill Miller Community Center, 312 Vick St., to be served a meal of crescent rolls, macaroni and cheese, dressing, chicken, barbecue pork, ham, turkey and other hot foods courtesy the Albany Police Department’s Family Protection Unit and others.

“This is our first dinner and we plan another one next year,” said APD Investigator Bryant Laverett. “We’ve planned to serve more than 200. We hope to let people in our community know we care about them.”

By the looks of the line at about 4:40 p.m. and people who continued to walk up to the community center, the goal would be met.

Shirley Swain and her husband, Thomas, were among the first to be met by the servers who piled the food on there plates.

“This is wonderful. I really enjoy it,” Shirley Swain said. “I’m a senior citizen and I appreciate what the police do to keep us safe. This gives me a way to meet some of them.”

Thomas Swain said it was also a good event to meet the other members of the community who he might not normally meet.

“So many times we don’t get together as a community,” Swain said. “This is a chance to have some fellowship.”

The event brought out a diverse group, not just senior citizens. Gail Osgood brought her seven young children to the dinner.

“It is tough feeding everyone,” Osgood said. “This really means a lot to us.”

Laverett thanked the Albany Recreation & Parks Department for the facility, First Baptist Church, Carter’s Grill, Hank Vinson’s Meathouse, Alligoods Quality Meats, Pastor Gabriel Martin, Kingdom of God Ministries in Arlington and his fellow officers for their donations, time and efforts in making the dinner a success.