1 of the latest COVID-19 casualties was Officer Steven Hemphill with the Lanier Complex University Law enforcement Division in Gainesville.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — The growing quantities of COVID-19 deaths involve increasing numbers of regulation enforcement officers, considered to have been exposed to the virus when they ended up on obligation.

One particular of the most up-to-date was a college campus law enforcement officer in Gainesville.

He was a occupation legislation enforcement officer, serving additional than 35 yrs in north Georgia — Officer Steve Hemphill, 59.

For the past three several years Officer Hemphill was with the Lanier Technical Higher education Police Section (LTCPD) in Gainesville. Officer Hemphill died of COVID-19 on Jan. 16, 2021, according to the Officer Down Memorial Web site web site.

The website’s tribute to Hemphill says it is considered that he was uncovered to the virus just prior to Christmas, when on responsibility providing assistance at a health screening checkpoint on campus.

On Thursday, LTCPD Main Jeff Strickland, a personalized pal of Hemphill through their professions, spoke of how these who realized Hemphill are devastated. Chief Strickland known as Hemphill a terrific police officer who liked his household, liked the outdoor, his motorbike and trout fishing.

“Steve Hemphill was not just a law enforcement officer at Lanier Specialized University Police Department. He was my close friend,” Strickland stated.

Strickland mentioned he and Hemphill attended the law enforcement academy together in 1984. Strickland remembered him as a “excellent police officer” whose relatives was most crucial to him.

“The Lanier Complex College Police Department is a tiny division that enables us to develop into really shut,” Strickland said. “We are devastated by the loss of our friend and fellow officer. Steve touched us all in a special way and will be sorely skipped but by no means forgotten.”

The Officer Down Memorial Site counts Officer Hemphill as one particular of extra than 200 law enforcement officers across the state who have died from COVID-19, all believed to have been uncovered even though on responsibility. According to the internet site, as of Thursday there have been 217 deaths in 2020, but on Friday the website counted two further deaths from 2020 for a complete of 219 the rely for 2021, so considerably, is 15 fatalities.

Seventeen of the officers served in Ga, according to the web-site four of the Ga officers died just considering the fact that the to start with of this yr.

Steve Hemphill’s job involved assistance with the Gainesville Police Section (20 yrs), the Hall County Sheriff’s Business (two many years), and, for 11 several years, the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office environment.

Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard, on Thursday, explained Hemphill was like a brother to him, and was a dedicated peace officer who brought smiles to anyone he knew.

“He was a brother, a good friend, and an particularly hard coworker for all those of us that experienced the enjoyment of being aware of him,” Jarrad stated. “We will miss him and all the smiles he introduced to our faces above the a long time.”

Hemphill leaves a spouse and two young children the legislation enforcement group is supporting the family, now, alongside with the people of more than 200 other individuals across the nation who have been shed to COVID, so considerably.

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