During Prohibition, Greene County was the moonshine capital of Georgia. A corrupt sheriff and hundreds of illegal stills made this little area east of Atlanta the source of liquor for hotels in the city and people across the South. Then, in 1925, a twenty-one-year-old named L.L. Wyatt was recruited to break up this thriving industry. Wyatt’s battles with the bootleggers would soon turn him into a figure larger than life. As his fearlessness, agility, honesty, and fairness in enforcing the law were demonstrated again and again, the stories spread throughout the county, sweeping everyone up into the legend of L.L. Wyatt.
Bolstered by a sense that God was protecting him, Wyatt was fearless in his mission. In only five years, he transformed Greene County into one of the most crime-free places in Georgia. He was shot at, spit upon, bitten, and cursed for it, but for five decades, Wyatt was engaged in an ongoing war between the law and those who would oppose it, maintaining law, order, and the respect of all, even criminals. No crime went unsolved during his 36 years as sheriff of Greene County, a feat even Hollywood took note of.
More than just a legend from the past, Wyatt’s story shows that one person can change their community for good. His ideals challenge law enforcement and society alike to uphold a firm respect for the law while also enforcing it in a manner that preserves dignity. Every single citizen mattered to Sheriff L.L. Wyatt. Before there was such a thing, Wyatt was a true community police officer and sheriff.