GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The George County Sheriff's Office, along with members of the community and the Lucedale Police Department, gathered for a memorial ceremony on Friday to honor two former sheriffs who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Law enforcement officers and the community gathered together to celebrate the memory of Sheriff Garry Welford and Sheriff John Nelson. Welford was killed in 2010 while attempting to apprehend a suspect. Nelson was killed in 1948 while responding to a domestic dispute.
"I am proud to stand with this distinguished group of officers, their families, friends and supporters of law enforcement," said George County Sheriff Dean Howell. "It is also an honor to join you all in expressing gratitude to those who laid down their lives in the line of their duties."
The Rev. Tommy Mitchell, of Agricola Baptist Church, officiated the ceremony and thanked the officers for their courage and dedication. Mitchell had some special remarks for the slain Welford, a man he knew personally.
"He was a friend to me. He was at times a boss and a father to those he worked with. He was a Christian who lived his life with integrity and died doing his duty," said Mitchell.
The ceremony concluded with a moment of silence as officers presented a wreath at the memorial. The ceremony was in observance of National Police Week.