Late Captain Justin Bedwell recognized with medal of honor

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 6:54 PM EDT
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BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WALB) -Not a dry eye was in sight as many law enforcement officers and others continue to remember and honor the late Decatur County Sheriff’s Office’s Justin Bedwell.

Just over two months ago, Lt. Justin Bedwell lost his life after being injured in the line of duty, leaving behind a daughter and wife.

After his death, he was later promoted to Captain.

Southwest Georgia law enforcement officers and so many more are not letting his legacy of 20 years on the force be lost.

A ceremony was held on Wednesday at the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with national police week.

Bedwell's wife, Katherine and other family members lovingly look at Bedwell's portrait on the...
Bedwell's wife, Katherine and other family members lovingly look at Bedwell's portrait on the memorial wall.(source: WALB)

During the ceremony, a medal of honor was accepted on Captain Justin Bedwell’s behalf by his wife Katherine, daughter Madison and his mother Georgia, an unveiling of Captain Bedwell’s portrait placed on a memorial wall inside of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office lobby, and the Bainbridge High school Air Force JROTC created a new award, the Captain Justin Bedwell Memorial Distinguish Valor Award.

Two cadets have already received this award and were named during Wednesday’s ceremony.

But more is to come to forever immortalize the late captain’s legacy.

“Captain Bedwell’s memory will live on in all of us. Captain Justin Williams Bedwell’s name will be engraved on the memorial wall in Washington D.C. and the memorial wall at Georgia Public Safety and Training Center in Forsyth, Georgia. A dedication ceremony will be held at each location during national police week in May of 2022,” Sheriff Wiley Griffin said during the ceremony.

Katherine told us she didn’t want to talk about the ceremony at the moment but said she’s open to talking about it and her beloved Justin more sometime in the near future.

Wednesday’s ceremony was to not only honor Captain Bedwell but six other Decatur County Sheriff’s Office deputies who’ve lost their lives in the line of duty since 1905.

This was also to observe and bring recognition to National Police Week.

During the ceremony, Sheriff Wiley Griffin reminded everyone of just how many Georgia officers are no longer with us after doing their job to protect and serve.“

Sheriff Wiley Griffin
Sheriff Wiley Griffin(source: WALB)

“The Georgia Public Safety Memorial Wall in Forsyth Georgia is now inscribed with 756 names of Georgia law enforcement officers that have died in the line of duty,” Sheriff Griffin said.

He would also mention that over 22,000 law enforcement officers have their names inscribed at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C.

Many people spoke about police week and the late Captain Bedwell along with saying prayers during the ceremony.

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