If a police officer gives their life in service to their community, that officer should be honored and remembered by the community in which they served. Or so one would think, it is not that way in the State of Georgia. If an officer is killed in the line of duty they are not automatically added to the states Public Safety Memorial. In fact the Georgia Public Safety Memorial Committee has cited the following;
The Georgia Public Safety Memorial states they proudly display the names of all the brave men and women honored on the wall for their dedication and sacrifice to the citizens of the State of Georgia. Above the names that are etched in granite is the theme of the Memorial, "WITH HONOR THEY SERVED". Each of the individuals listed did just that. They served with HONOR, with COURAGE, with DIGNITY, and with concern for their fellow man.
The truth be told is not ALL of those brave men and women are honored for their dedication and sacrifice to the State of Georgia. In fact, I worked with one of those men whom has not been afforded the honor for which he deserves. Cpl. Dennis Wright #4140 (Effingham County Sheriff's Office) was killed in an automobile accident leaving a Governor's Office of Highway Safety traffic enforcement meeting. His patrol unit was struck by a driver whom ran a stop sign and struck the side of his patrol car causing it to overturn. Cpl. Wright was succumbed to his injuries at the scene. The disgusting thing is this in not an isolated case. Our agency was told, Cpl. Wright was not en route to a call for service and as such he does not qualify for inclusion to the memorial. Cpl. Wright has been added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Georgia Memorial Committee has cited the following as criteria for inclusion to the public safety memorial:
The primary purpose of the Georgia Public Safety Memorial is to honor Georgia's law enforcement officers, firefighters, corrections officers, emergency medical technicians and emergency management agency personnel who have died in the line of duty. Therefore, by definition, the criteria for inclusion is three-fold. First, was the potential Honoree a law enforcement officer, firefighter, corrections officer, emergency medical technician or emergency management agency personnel as defined herein. Second, was the potential Honoree engaged in a line of duty activity at the time of death or injury that lead to death. Third, was the potential Honoree's death a direct and proximate result of the line of duty injury.
As stated above, if the public safety employee was not en route to a call for service they will not be included on the wall. If the officer is shot and was not dispatched or not engaged in some sort of enforcement activity they will not be honored. The Memorial Committee has gone so far as to say on duty is not the same as in the Line-of-duty.
PLEASE, STAND UP and HONOR GEORGIA'S FALLEN. Help us to petition the Georgia Public Safety Memorial Committee and the Governor to amend the selection criteria to mirror that of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (whom see on duty as in the line of duty). Give our fallen officers the honor they deserve for the sacrifice they paid.
We need another 4980 signatures so that we can Restore the honor earned by Georgia's fallen public safety.
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