Sheriff’s Office honors fallen officers for National Police Week

Published 7:43 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

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Monday, May 15, marked the beginning of National Police Week. To honor the beginning of this national event, the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office held a ceremony to honor officers that have fallen in the line of duty. Photos honoring these officers hang in the office’s lobby; they include Sheriff Martin Stegall, killed in 1905; BPS officer Samuel Arline, killed in 1927; Game Warden Robert Sizemore, killed in 1928; BPS officer Norman Murkerson, killed in 1953; Decatur County Deputy Lt. James West Sr., killed in 1980; Decatur County Deputy Sheriff Robert Griffin killed in 2008; and Captain Justin Bedwell, killed in 2021.

The Bainbridge High School AFJROTC presented the flags for the ceremony, and also assisted in presenting wreaths to honor the fallen officers. After the introduction by Major Wendell Cofer, Sheriff Wiley Griffin took to the podium. “Each of these officers made the ultimate sacrifice, while protecting and serving the citizens of Decatur County,” he said. “As we remember them and their impact on our community, we also want to remember the families, the spouses, the children, and other family members that suffered a great loss and sacrifice personally in the death of their loved one.”

Additionally, Sheriff Griffin recognized officers injured in the line of duty, namely the DCSO chaplain, John Thomas, who lost his leg in a car accident.

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Captain DeWitt Phillips concluded the meeting with prayer.