‘A helpless feeling:’ Line of duty deaths serving warrants, domestic calls

Cobb County is the second agency to lose officers while serving warrants.
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 6:22 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - There have been eight line of duty deaths this year in Georgia. Law enforcement say that is eight too many. Cobb County sheriff deputies killed Thursday was the second time in four years a metro officer died while serving warrants.

“It makes you second guess ‘why am I doing this,’” Locust Grove Police Chief Derrick Austin asked.

Although nearly 50 miles away, Locust Grove PD feels just as close to the grief and frustration rippling across Cobb County.

“Almost a helpless feeling at some point,” Austin adds.

The agency went through something similar four years ago. During our interview, the chief stood in front of the memorial which honors fallen officer Chase Maddox. He died in 2018 while assisting Henry County with serving a warrant for failure to appear for a traffic violation. The two Henry County officers were shot but survived.

COMPLETE COVERAGE | Fatal shooting of 2 Cobb County Sheriff’s Office deputies | What we know

However, Maddox was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the hospital.

“It weighs on you, just horrible.” The chief continued, “the Maddox family is now a part of our family.”

And speaking of families, metro law enforcement argue too often they feel dehumanized. The 16 Georgia officers across 15 departments killed on the job from January 2021 through September 2022 leave behind a village.

The metro area chapter of the Brotherhood of Police Officers is pleading for a change in perspective, says director Vince Champion.

“Well let’s talk about, they are sons, they are daughters. We are your little league coach. We are husbands. We are wives. We are people,” Champion explained. “Everyday people that are killed for doing our job. There’s not a lot of people that go out in the world and get killed just doing their job.”

CBS46 investigates found across the state, of the 847 line of duty deaths, more than half were shootings.

Prior to Cobb County’s Thursday killings, the last three deaths happened while police responded to domestic calls.

Instances where each agency says the fallen officer did everything right.

“We owe it to them to never forget,” Chief Austin added.