“Blane had a giant heart,” Hewell said. “He could go from finding a suspect and being a tough cop to doing everything he could for someone he met on a call or someone walking by who looked down in the dumps.”
July 11, 2019, Gainesville — Honor Guard members from police departments throughout Georgia salute as the casket containing Hall County sheriff’s Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon is carried into the Free Chapel Worship Center in Gainesville for the funeral. Dixon is the fourth Georgia law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty this year. Bob Andres / email@example.com
The young deputy had always wanted to be a police officer, said speakers at the funeral held in Gainesville Free Chapel Worship Center. He started as a jailer about three years ago, a requirement for Hall County deputies, then moved into patrol.
His unwavering enthusiasm for protecting and serving his community was mentioned repeatedly by officers and family members during the service.
“I believe there are those among us with hearts that God chooses to infuse with spirit, service and guardianship. Blane’s heart was certainly one of those,” Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said.
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Police officers from departments across the state came to honor the fallen deputy, filling the huge church auditorium with all manner of uniforms and making the funeral procession a massive line of law enforcement motorcycles.
Members of the Patriot Guard Riders were there too, lined up, holding flags along the front of the church as the hearse arrived, then doing the same later at the cemetery.
July 11, 2019, Gainesville — The funeral caisson departs from the church for the procession to Memorial Park Cemetery. A funeral service was held for slain Hall County sheriff’s Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon, the fourth Georgia law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty this year. The funeral service was held at Free Chapel Worship Center in Gainesville. Bob Andres / firstname.lastname@example.org
The funeral procession stretched more than a mile and a half from Free Chapel to the Memorial Park cemetery, and people lined the streets, holding signs to honor Dixon. Those who couldn’t make it to the cemetery were invited to watch the Channel 2 livestream of the flag ceremony and service inside the worship center.
People from the Hall County community who knew Dixon, a longtime resident of Gainesville and a North Hall High School graduate, were among the uniformed officers honoring him. Attendees came in dark blue and black, some pinning blue ribbons to their clothes, and others hanging a black flag with a blue stripe from their cars.
July 11, 2019, Gainesville — Spectators carried signs and flags as they waited for the funeral procession to leave the church for burial. A funeral service was held for slain Hall County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon, the fourth Georgia law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty this year. The service was held at Free Chapel Worship Center in Gainesville. Bob Andres / email@example.com
Pauline Giles, 77, has a son on the Hall County Sheriff’s Office force who she said bought a flag to fly at half-staff in their yard after Dixon’s death.
“The Hall County community is so supportive of the police,” Giles said. “And you find that rare these days, but you can see by the outpouring how we all feel.”
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Flags flew at half-staff around Hall County to honor Dixon, and Gov. Brian Kemp ordered the same for the flag in front of the state Capitol in Atlanta.
Some officers who spoke about their friend lightened the mood of the sniffling crowd, telling stories about Dixon’s signature, goofy wave, hours-long phone conversations, and his accidental run-in with a guardrail while driving his patrol car.
Hall County sheriff’s Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon, the fourth Georgia law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in 2019. (Hall County Sheriff’s Office)
Since Dixon’s death, Georgia governments and agencies have posted condolences to the Dixon family and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office. And Dixon’s younger brother Jeremy thanked other businesses and organizations that have shown support.
The four 17-year-old males suspected of firing at Dixon and his fellow deputies are charged with felony murder. Brayan Omar Cruz, London Clements and Eric Edgardo Velazquez are in custody, while Hector Garcia-Solis remains in the hospital because of multiple gunshot wounds.