By The Associated Press
LUCEDALE — Hundreds of law enforcement officers, friends and family attended funeral services Monday for George County Sheriff Garry Welford, who died last week in a hit-and-run incident.
Services were held Monday at Shady Grove Baptist Church in Lucedale. Welford was buried in the graveyard across the street from the church.
Before the service, a funeral procession of about 500 officers from all over the southeast escorted Welford’s coffin from the George County Courthouse to the church before the service and the burial. George County deputies led the officers on a 15-mile drive throughout Lucedale.
The 62-year-old Welford was placing spike strips in a road to stop a truck, when the vehicle struck him. He died an hour later at an Alabama hospital. Two people have been charged with capital murder in Welford’s death. Welford was serving his second term.
About 1,000 people attended the service. The church seated 200 people. Church pastor Rev. Bruce Mckenzie said about 100 people watched a live feed in the community room. About 700 waited outside the church.
Welford was remembered as a dedicated law enforcement officer and beloved family man.
“We cannot forget how he lived and we will never forget how he died,” said Rev. Tommy Mitchell, who serves as the sheriff’s department chaplain and who gave the eulogy.