The recent tragedy involving the senseless murder of Deputy J.D. Paugh in Richmond County has appropriately been the focus of recent public attention and sorrow in our community. We are blessed to have wonderful law enforcement agencies in this area, and the outpouring of public support during Deputy Paugh’s funeral was amazing and deeply appreciated by those who knew J.D., his family and law enforcement officers in general.
But the public needs to be aware of the outstanding service performed by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office during this tragedy. Sheriff Clay Whittle’s officers served the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office by allowing the Richmond County officers to grieve their loss, and did an amazing job overseeing traffic management and escorts.
We are always grateful for the difficult job done by the sheriff’s office, but they deserve even greater credit for their efforts that truly honored Deputy Paugh. Although they were not members of the same agency, they belong to the same fraternity that few of us can appreciate, and their manner of honoring their fallen brother should make us all proud.
There are times when words seem insufficient to express gratitude for selfless acts performed by public servants, and as a citizen of Columbia County, a member of the judicial system, and a friend of J.D. Paugh, I personally wanted to express my gratitude to Sheriff Whittle and the entire Columbia County Sheriff’s Office for their efforts during the funeral.
Judge J. Wade Padgett