Bainbridge-- It was a somber, touching moment as the processional of patrols cars made its way to the church. Children lined the street waving flags to honor Robert Griffin who became a Decatur County Deputy after retiring from the Navy.
"He spent pretty much his entire adult life in service of the country or the community," said Lieutenant James Spooner with the Decatur County Sheriff's Office.
Griffin was on his way to a call Thursday morning when he lost control of his patrol car on Brinson-Airbase road. He hit a tree and was killed instantly. "That morning everybody was just stunned. In the back of your mind you know its one of those things that you know it could happen, but until it does you just don't realize it," Spooner said.
"It really wakes us up and let us know, we're not guaranteed to go home when we go to work. It brings attention to more safety that we need to take," added Corporal Jon Harrison with Bainbridge Public Safety.
With the lives Griffin touched, everyone who knew him wanted to attend his funeral Monday. With some help, that was possible. "We've got a lot of support from our neighboring agencies in being able to handle the operations that have to continue, so that everybody at the Sheriff's office can be at the ceremony," said Spooner.
With court proceedings going on at the Decatur County Sheriff's Office, deputies from Mitchell county came down so all of the Decatur deputies could attend the funeral.
Bainbridge Public Safety and Georgia State troopers handled the county's calls and patrolling. "As calls come in while we're leading law enforcement to the church we'll be breaking off and answering calls as needed," said Harrison.
An act they know would be reciprocated if the situation were reversed. "I have no doubt in my mind that the county would come in and cover us, no problem," he said.
That "brotherhood" of law enforcement we so often hear about, was clearly demonstrated here.
Robert Griffin was 44. He is survived by his wife and three children.