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Fallen Georgia officer honored throughout Nationwide Police Week


WASHINGTON (Gray DC) – During this National Police Week, the nation remembers nearly 400 fallen heroes who were killed on duty. The services will honor Corporal Avery D. Hillman of the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office, who passed away last October after clearing COVID-19.

“We love him very, very much and we miss him every day,” said Cherese Hillman, Corporal Hillman’s widow.

Corporal Avery Hillman loved sports, law enforcement, and spent time with his wife Cherese and their 11-year-old son Maleakhi.

“We used to go on excursions, we played together in my room,” said Maleakhi.

Hillman’s commitment to the public service began at a young age. He served in the U.S. Army and spent decades in the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office. Even after a long week, Hillman volunteered for the Friday night football games and led the other officers in saluting the flag during the national anthem.

“He loved this community. He loved this country, ”said Bill Hancock, Crisp County Sheriff.

Hillman was eligible for retirement at the age of 50 but continued to serve.

“The day we gave him this award and recognized him for 30 years, he could have gone home, but he didn’t,” said Hancock.

Sheriff Bill Hancock said Hillman is eager to serve in all kinds of law enforcement roles – from the patrol department to a school official to his final assignment at Crisp Regional Hospital.

“It’s one of the most important jobs we have here in the sheriff’s office because that’s where we meet most of the people,” said Hancock. “It’s very important to get our good, positive person out there and he was the person we picked.”

Hillman hired COVID-19 as a front line worker providing security to the hospital. After nearly five and a half weeks battling the virus, he died of complications.

“I feel he is all right and we just hope he continues to watch over us and has left us in good hands,” said Cherese Hillman.

Hillman’s name was recently engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Virtual services will take place this week, while the in-person ceremony is scheduled for October.

The Crisp County Sheriff’s Office will host a law enforcement memorial Thursday at 6:30 p.m., which can be viewed live on social media. The sheriff’s office will honor Hillman and seven other department employees who died on duty.

There will also be a candlelight vigil held practically on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. to honor Hillman and the other fallen heroes from across the country.

The Georgia Public Safety Memorial in Forsyth will hold church services on Tuesday, May 18 at 2:00 p.m. The Hillman family is expected to receive a medal and award.

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