BRASELTON — People in one local city were treated to an awesome display of solidarity.  The Braselton Police Department in conjunction with Barrow, Gwinnett, Hall, and Jackson County Sheriff’s Offices and three local fire departments took to their vehicles to create one spirit-lifting event. 

Major Michael Steffman from the Braselton Police Department leads the parade of first responders through the neighborhoods of Braselton. Photo – Alicia Couch Payne

Braselton is a unique city that is situated so that it is inside of four different counties.  The participating departments paraded through different neighborhoods within the city limits of Braselton.  The safety parade was the idea of Chief Ben Stephens with the West Jackson County Fire Department who took his idea to Major Michael Steffman of the Braselton Police Department.

As the safety parade made its way through the streets of Braselton neighborhoods, people young and old come out of their homes to witness the display and to show their support of their first responders.  During this unprecedented time of uncertainty in the world, the show of caring and solidarity between the first responders and civilians was heartwarming and much needed.

Residents such as young Annika and her uncle hold up handmade signs showing their support of the first responders. Photo – Alicia Couch Payne

“We here at the Braselton Police Department want everyone to know, no matter what we are going to be here for them and times such as these are no different.  We love the community we serve and I truly believe they love us,” said Major Steffman. 

Major Steffman goes on to relate that the event was so well received by the community and that the outpouring of support for them as first responders made it all worth it.  He said they saw people crying, smiling, and thanking them for putting on the parade.  

During this COVID-19 pandemic with the fears and the problems it has caused, people need a reason to have hope and to smile.  The first responders who took their time to put on this parade gave the people that they serve just that….a reason to have hope and to smile.

Scenes from the Braselton Safety Parade. Photo – Alicia Couch Payne


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