By 11 a.m. Thursday, many in the Savannah area were bustling in their kitchens preparing for a meal with friends and family.
But Pooler Police Officer Eunorous Dixon spent his Thanksgiving Day a little differently. Dixon, like most local police officers, was on the clock maintaining public safety.
Officers with the Pooler Police Department worked 12-hour shifts to make sure drivers stayed safe on the city’s slick roads and to make sure homes and vehicles were secured while people were out of town.
“Everyone works on a rotation,” Dixon said. “But today has been a quiet today.”
Thursday was Dixon’s second Thanksgiving Day with the city police department. And although he spent the holiday away from family, he had an opportunity to spend time with his brothers in blue.
“The police department tries hard to make us feel comfortable,” he said. “Last year, we had a small pot luck dinner and we are allowed to attend community dinners for free. It can be hard to be away from family but my wife and girls don’t mind because they are used to it from when I was in the military.”
And sometimes the community brings the dinner to law enforcement. Residents dropped off pies and cookies for the police officers giving up their holiday to protect and serve the community.
The holiday goodies were accompanied by a note thanking officers for their service.
Dixon’s shift was relatively quiet with the exception of an early morning wreck near Interstates 95 and 16. The most frequent incidents around holiday times are accidents and theft while residents are out of town.
Officers responded to the scene about 5:30 a.m. after the accident closed the interchanging ramp between the two highways and one northbound lane I-95. Officers responded to a second accident near the same interchange about 13 hours later.
“We tend to see cars on the road on Thanksgiving Day for those last-minute travelers making their way home,” Dixon said. “There are also more accidents on the road when we see a change in conditions like today.”
Thanksgiving feasts were accompanied by 50-degree weather and steady rain, according to the National Weather Service. The recorded weather was drastic change from Wednesday’s high of 69 degrees.
But the work for these officers doesn’t stop at 5 p.m. or even after typical holiday meal times.
As Black Friday shopping grows more popular, officers are also gearing up for post-holiday shifts as early as mid-afternoon on Thanksgiving Day.
Around 6 p.m., Pooler police officers were busy sharing strategies, tips and a cup of coffee as they prepared for crowd control at the Tanger Outlets Shopping Center on Pooler Parkway.
“It doesn’t get too crazy around here, but we are out here offering help,” said Advanced Police Officer Johnny Griner.
But it’s all part of the job and holiday spirit, according to Griner, who stopped to take pictures with holiday shoppers.