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DCSO deputy killed in line of duty honored during National Police Week

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 7:53 PM EDT
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BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WCTV) - Two months after Decatur County Sheriff’s Office’s Captain Justin Bedwell’s death, the Bainbridge community honored him again.

The DCSO deputy was assisting in a car chase when he was shot on Feb. 27. He died a few days later at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

“The overwhelming support from the community, the state and even the nation has been unreal,” said Katherine Bedwell, the wife of the late deputy.

During a memorial ceremony, Capt. Bedwell’s name and picture were placed on the wall of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office. In honor of National Police Week, DCSO Sheriff Wiley Griffin said it’s important to remember those who put their lives on the line every day, and especially those that have lost their lives while in the line of duty.

Several law enforcement officers that knew Bedwell personally, including the Sheriff himself, took turns sharing some of their fondest memories of the deputy. Many were brought to tears as Sherriff Griffin recalled the deputy’s last words.

“Capt. Bedwell said, “Shots fire, subjects still shooting. I’m at Mile marker 12, and I’m bleeding out,” recalled Sheriff Griffin.

He continued to share that the deputy lost consciousness for a few moments, before saying these last words: “Tell my wife I love her.”

Bedwell’s wife, Katherine, his daughter, Maddie and his mother sat front row at the ceremony, accepting the Medal of Honor from the department. For the first time, Katherine spoke out since Capt. Bedwell’s death and shared that the love and support from the community has helped during this difficult process of healing.

“They spoke these words at his funeral that we’ve got the watch from here and they have taken those words to heart,” said Mrs. Bedwell.

She said law enforcement, EMT and community members have taken it upon themselves to spend time with Bedwell’s daughter, and even fix things around the family home.

“They have truly become our new family. Even more so than before,” Mrs. Bedwell said.

Seven law enforcement officers now appear on the memorial wall in the building, reminding anyone that passes through of the ultimate sacrifice each of them have made.

Captain Bedwell’s name will also be added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., and the Georgia memorial during National Police Week in 2022.

Mrs. Bedwell said she’s hoping to continue carrying on the legacy of her late husband, and she’s honored to see all the people he’s touched throughout Decatur County.

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