Public Safety Monument dedicated in Moultrie - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Public Safety Monument dedicated in Moultrie

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November 20, 2007

Moultrie-  It's been 22 years since Colquitt County or Moultrie lost a police officer in the line of duty, and they've never lost a firefighter on the job.

Tuesday they honored five fallen officers with the dedication of a new Public Safety Monument. It's a chance for the community to honor those who bravely served and for their families it's meant everything.

There was a solemn feeling across downtown Moultrie as a new Public Safety Monument was unveiled on the square. For the family of Deputy Tony Wilder, the last name on the monument, it was an unnerving trip 22 years down memory lane.

"It was awful, you just don't feel safe anymore," said Dede Wilder Toole, the daughter of Deputy Tony Wilder.

Wilder was transporting mental patient Dale Baker when Baker opened fire, shooting five and killing Wilder. Colquitt County Sheriff Al Whittington, at the time a deputy, was there and helped end the standoff. For him, this is a bitter sweet way to honor his friend.

"It was a bad situation, certainly when anyone loses a life, but there were several families that were affected that day," said Colquitt County Sheriff Al Whittington.

Both hope this new monument with the names of five officers who lost their lives since 1959 while on duty will serve as a lesson to all.

"We all take them for granted, you see the sirens go by and you think oh well, but that could be somebody's father going to his very last call," said Wilder-Toole.

They hope the monument to fallen officers and firefighters will prompt feelings as people pass by.

"Appreciate, and respect, and be thankful, said Wilder-Toole.

It's already invoked feelings in a grandson who never got to meet his grandfather.

"Very proud," said grandson Luke Toole.

It's created a way so their service will never be forgotten. The new Public Safety Monument was donated by Harold Faircloth Funeral Home. Colquitt County paid for the installation and brick work around the monument.

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