Long County community recognizes ‘End of Watch’ for fallen Sheriff’s deputy

Published: Jul. 11, 2021 at 10:06 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2021 at 6:19 PM EDT
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LUDOWICI, Ga. (WTOC) - A group of motorcyclists from the state of Washington are riding across the country, honoring law enforcement officers who’ve died. On Tuesday morning, Beyond the Call of Duty made a stop in Ludowici to pay respects to fallen Long County Sheriff’s Deputy Sheldon Whiteman, who died January 23, 2020 in a high-speed chase on Highway 57.

“We should not forget that they were heroes before we realized they were heroes. Each one of them is a hero,” said J.C. Shah, founder of Beyond the Call of Duty which organizes the “End of Watch Ride to Remember.”

Badge 727 was more than just a number.

“It is always hard seeing his picture and that End of Watch date,” said Deputy Whiteman’s widow Alisa-Ann Whiteman.

Deputy Whiteman was a husband, a father, a son and a friend to so many. The group of motorcyclists joined together with the family, the Long County Sheriff’s Office and the community to remember and honor Deputy Whiteman for making the ultimate sacrifice to protect his community.

“This is just so meaningful to us, in so many ways. It’s over a year now since he passed, and we know the community and we know that the country, across the country is praying for us. They’re all praying for us everyday,” said Alisa-Ann Whiteman.

According to the Long County Sheriff, the county has had three officers killed in the line of duty in the past three-and-half-years. Remembrance ceremonies don’t get any easier for him, but it serves as a heartwarming reminder.

“As they go to cities and towns, it’s a reminder to those cities and towns and the public that these folks did not die in vain. They lived and done a job for a purpose,” said Long County Sheriff Craig Nobles.

Deputy Whiteman’s family spoke to the crowd, saying this past year has been tough, but it’s the support from organizations like Beyond the Call of Duty and community members that’s kept the family going.

“We lost our loved one, but we gained the whole country,” said Alisa-Ann Whiteman.

Beyond the Call of Duty was also in Effingham County on Monday. They’re traveling more than 22,000 miles honoring more than 300 law enforcement officers who died in 2020.

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