In my 35 years with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, I have attended many funerals of private citizens, elected officials, local and state dignitaries and public safety folks.
Never have I seen the outpouring of support and love that was shown at the funeral for Deputy James “J.D.” Paugh.
The hundreds and hundreds of law enforcement officers and other public safety people were expected, as these folks always come forward in times of tragedy involving one of their own.
But the public support shown by hundreds of citizens that lined the funeral procession was nothing like I have ever seen. People holding American flags, banners and ribbons adorned the entire route – citizens with their hands over their hearts and many crying as the procession made its way to Hillcrest Cemetery.
I wish I could personally thank each and every one who was standing along the roadway showing their respect for what J.D. has done for the past 17 years in dedicating his life to the great citizens of Richmond County.
Our agency is having a difficult time coping with the loss of J.D., but the tribute shown by our citizens during these hard times has helped us so much.
Thank you, each and every one of you, for all you have done in supporting and paying your respects to this agency and to Deputy J.D. Paugh.
(The writer has been Richmond County’s sheriff since 2001.)