LONG CO., GA (WTOC) - The deadly shooting of a U.S. Marshal in a mobile home park Friday in Long County and targeted police shootings around the country over the weekend have at least one local lawman reminded of the dangers they face every day.
Long County Sheriff Craig Nobles met Pat Carothers just minutes before the team of Marshals went to arrest a fugitive. Neither could anticipate the shootout that would leave Carothers - a career law officer - and the suspect dead.
"It's a great loss to law enforcement. He's one of the finest law enforcement agents in the country. We lost one of the best," said Sheriff Nobles.
On Sunday, a string of shootings across the nation targeted police officers. Nobles says it shows a growing trend of people who don't respect officers.
"They don't want to answer to the authority of the law," said Sheriff Nobles.
A generation ago, his father, Sheriff Cecil Nobles, rarely carried his gun and didn't need to.
"The dangerous guys out there, daddy knew them and knew how to deal with them. If he didn't know them, he knew somebody who did who could deal with them," said Sheriff Nobles.
The current sheriff blames drug addictions for the actions of many criminals. He says more resources for officers and tougher punishments for the bad guys might keep tragedies like this one from happening again.
Nobles says they'll continue to train for whatever they could face to protect themselves and the people of the community.