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Friday's ceremony honors fallen officers

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Rome and Floyd County’s law enforcement community came together Friday as one to pay tribute to 20 officers killed in the line of duty at the Peace Officers Memorial Service in front of the Joint Law Enforcement Center on Fifth Avenue.

Representatives from the Rome and Floyd County Police were joined by Georgia State troopers, sheriff’s deputies, state parole and probation personnel, federal law enforcement officers, family members and others for the 30 minute ceremony.

A joint agency color guard followed bagpiper Joe Dunaway to the Fallen Officers monument to start the service. Rome Police Department officer of the year Brandon Pledger read the roll call of 20 local law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty. The list goes all the way back to Rome police officer James P. Mooney who was killed April 18, 1874.

The most recent addition to the list of fallen officers was Tiffany Bishop, a 24-year-old probation officer who was shot during a training exercise in Jackson in 2011. Bishop’s parents, Tom and Maureen Bishop, placed the rose on her marker in the plaza in front of the law enforcement complex on Fifth Avenue.

Myra Hunt and Shannon Boatner placed a rose on the marker for Carl Dobbins, a Floyd County police officer who was killed Feb. 12, 1971. Greg Dobbins met his mother and sister, Boatner, at the marker where he stood at attention and saluted during the rose presentation.

“I make it up here every year,” Hunt said. She said three generations of the family have been involved in law enforcement.

Both she and her late husband worked for the police, her son Greg is a veteran with the Floyd County police, and Greg’s son Stephen Dobbins worked for the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office.

If immediate family members were not available for the rose presentation, representatives from their agencies laid the rose on the monuments.

Rome City Commissioner Sue Lee, chairwoman of the Rome Public Safety committee, read a proclamation from the commission which stressed the important role law enforcement officers have played in safeguarding the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. “It is fitting and proper that we express gratitude to the dedicated servants and courageous deeds of law enforcement officers,” Lee read.

Bagpiper Joe Dunaway played “Amazing Grace” as officers laid a wreath in front of the Fallen Officers statue in front of the building.