Local Democrats donate to police gun buy back

Patti Dozier/Times-EnterpriseMark Anderson (far left) and Elizabeth Elzy present a $900 check to Assistant Police Chief Eric Hampton for the police gun buy back operation. 

THOMASVILLE — Watching gun violence increase in the community, the Thomas County Democratic party gave $900 to Thomasville Police Department's gun buy back operation to help reduce violent activity.

Party members wanted to do their part to reduce gun violence in the community, said Mark Anderson, party chairman.

"We support responsible gun ownership but think the gun buy back program will remove from the community guns that otherwise might fall into the hands of criminals or persons likely to turn to them to settle conflicts," Anderson said.

Party Vice Chairman Elizabeth Elzy agreed.

"If they have them, they will use them," Elzy said. "If they don't' have them, they won't use them."

The donation makes the community aware that the local Democratic party is opposed to weapons being used unlawfully, Elzy added.

"It means a lot to Thomasville Police Department," said Assistant Police Chief Eric Hampton, in expressing appreciation for the donation. "When we get them off the street, we know where the guns are. They are not in the hands of someone who might use them to injure someone."

"This donation will go a long way," said Police Chief Troy Rich.

Anderson said the party donated $500, and individual party members provided the additional $400. 

"The donation reflects our continuing support for the outstanding Thomasville Police Department and its progressive policies, including the hiring of a diverse force that reflects the makeup of the community, as well as its programs to secure the trust of the citizens its officers serve and protect," Anderson said.

The chief said the program received a $500 donation from someone whose asked that their name be kept confidential.

VISA gift cards are given in exchange for firearms surrendered.

"If you turn a weapon in, there are no questions asked, no hidden agendas and no ambushes," Rich said. "We are here for a legitimate purpose in trying to make our community safe."

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820