Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Elmer Willis

Madison County Sheriff's Office, Georgia

End of Watch Monday, August 5, 1974

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Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Elmer Willis

I was told by our instructor this week to find a random name on the GA Peace Officer Memorial here at GPSTC Forsyth and sketch the name into paper. For whatever reason I landed on your name. I read the incident on what happened to you and presented it to my class. Despite you not being here anymore, you are still remembered in stone for all future peace officers to see. Rest in peace and may God bless your family.

J. Bradley
Metro- Rail Police Dept.

June 9, 2021

Today we remind you and your family that your sacrifice will always be remembered.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

August 5, 2020

Thank you for your service, both military and police, and please know that your sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo (Retired)
Delaware State Police

June 18, 2020

Sheriff Fortson was a friend of mine. He was the first Sheriff to hire an African American in NE Ga. I know Sheriff Fortson never totally got over Deputy Willis murder. He talked to me several times over the years about the murder and the grief he still had. Sheriff Fortson and I graduated from the police academy together. He was our class president. He did a heartfelt class presentation on Deputy Willis murder. I never will forget him telling the class to look after one another. He said it didn't matter the color of your skin we all bleed red. Unfortunately our only African American officer in the class, Thomas Rowry, Jr. of Union Point ,Ga police department was murdered only 6 months after graduating with us.

Lt. Curtis Veal, Jr.
Retired Elbert Co. SO

June 16, 2020

Elmer worked for my Dad, Sheriff Jack Fortson. I was 14 when he was killed. Elmer was always smiling and laughing. He would always cut up with me when I would come by the office. My Mother worked in the office too so I was there often. Elmer’s death hit everyone in the office hard. He was very well liked by all.

Keith Fortson Not a Police Officer

February 24, 2020

Rest in peace Deputy Sheriff Willis.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

August 23, 2019

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 39th anniversary year of your death. I am priviliged to leave a tribute to you. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace.

I pray for solace for all those that love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever.

Phyllis Lasater Loya
mom of fallen Pittsburg (CA) officer Larry Lasater

January 31, 2013

Rest in Peace, Deputy Willis. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

April 1, 2012

It's being a long time I was only 6yrs old but for some reason I still remember that day. I was with my auntie Mattie that awful morning I always consider myself as one of your children because that was a very, very sad day for everyone a wise man once told me '' It's NOT HOW THEY DIE BUT IT'S HOW THEY LIVE'' uncle Elmer I think we all would say ''WELL DONE MY SON WELL DONE'' WE MISS YOU AND LOVE YOU
Pamela Curry Wilcoxson
aka (lilbit)

Pamela Curry Wilcoxson (lilbit )

December 7, 2010

I never got a chance to meet you, but listening to your mother, brothers and other family members talk about you its just like I know you. I know you accomplished so many things at a very young age in your life. GOD chose you to be a Soldier in his army.

We all miss and love you
The Willis family


July 19, 2009

The lone fatality from this department. I wish there was more information about this incident. I pray the Lord has been watching over those you left behind. Continue to RIP, my brother.

Cpl. T. Vrabel
San Diego Sheriff's Department

April 20, 2009

As my career's end is coming closer, I decided to check and find those who had lost their lives during the year that I was hired. While it's been many years since your passing, I'm sure those you left behind and those whom with you served with distinction have kept you alive in their memories. Thank you for your service and for looking out for us who continue in our chosen profession. Rest in peace Deputy Willis.

Sgt. Robert Mau Sr.
PD Joliet IL

December 17, 2008

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

October 10, 2007



August 5, 2004

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