Friends, family of James D. Paugh share their thoughts

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“I’ve never seen so many people stand up for one person,” said Amanda Creech, the wife of a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office motorcycle deputy.

“This always happens somewhere else. It’s not supposed to happen here.”

“I’ve been around 35 years, and I’ve been to many funerals ... nothing touches the one I saw today,” said Sheriff Ronnie Strength.

“It’s a fitting tribute to a hero. A tribute to someone who went up and above his call of duty to give honor where honor is due,” said Tim Pendrey, of Augusta.

“These people put their lives on the line for us everyday and sometimes they pay the ultimate price,” said David Shreckengost, a member of the Patriot Guard Riders from Stockbridge, Ga.

“The way he went down is not how he should have gone down,” said Melodie Stolbom, Paugh’s relative from Oakland, Md.

“In the police department, we’re all family, even the retired ones,” said Ronnye Fuller, a retired Richmond County Sheriff’s Office deputy who worked eight years with Paugh. “I’ve lost a good friend and a brother.”

“Alive or dead, people who protect other’s lives are heroes,” said Jamie Hunter, of Augusta.

“The city of Augusta is alive with people showing respect,” said the Rev. Rodger Murchison.

“All of these are family members,” said Richmond County Board of Education officer Andre Jenkins. “We’re all brothers and sisters out here. We’re not separate agencies. It’s one agency. That’s it.”

“In a way it’s all about Officer Paugh, and in a way it’s not,” Mattie Mitchell said. “It’s about every officer that serves in this community. Every officer, male or female, who put their life on the line.”

“He was always a clown, always trying to make you laugh,” said Richmond County Sheriff’s Office motorcycle deputy Alton Creech. “We’re still in shock he’s gone.”

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