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Six fallen officers eternally remembered at Sheriff’s Office

One by one, six portraits covered by black sheets were revealed at the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday morning, each one featuring the face of a Decatur County law enforcement officer who lost their life defending this community.

The lobby of the DCSO was filled with the families of the six fallen officers, other members of law enforcement and residents wishing to show their respects.

“It’s an overwhelming crowd,” said Sheriff Wiley Griffin, who emceed the ceremony. “We appreciate the citizens of Decatur County coming out to this special event for the officers doing their duty, serving the citizens of Decatur county, and unfortunately, tragically, dying in the line of duty.”

Decatur County was established in 1823 and Bainbridge was incorporated in 1829. Since Bainbridge and Decatur County were established, six law enforcement officers have lost their lives protecting and serving this community’s residents.

Decatur County Sheriff Martin Crawford Stegall was killed in the line of duty on Broad Street in Bainbridge on Oct. 29, 1905. Family member Ms. Kay Powell spoke on his behalf.

Bainbridge Police Department Officer Samuel Brinson Arline was killed in the line of duty near Climax on Nov. 9, 1928. Mr. Terrell K. Arline spoke on his behalf.

Georgia Game and Fish Department Deputy Game Warden Robert Clayton Sizemore was killed in the line of duty near Climax on Nov. 9, 1928. Capt. Rick Sellers spoke on his behalf.

Bainbridge Police Department Officer Norman Murkerson died in the line of duty in Bainbridge on Nov. 17, 1953. Mr. Jerry Mukerson spoke on his behalf.

Decatur County Deputy Lt. James M. West Sr. was killed in the line of duty in Decatur County on Oct. 28, 1980. Reve. John Thomas spoke on his behalf.

Decatur County Deputy Sheriff Robert Armand Griffin died in the line of duty in Decatur County on May 1, 2008. Maj. Wendell Cofer spoke on his behalf.

Rev. John Thomas was also recognized for the loss of his leg while serving as an officer in Decatur County.

The Tift County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard performed the revealing of the fallen officers’ portraits.