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“All about life and laughter and love”: Family and friends remember Georgia Game Warden

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 1:24 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - National Police Week—and the events honoring nearly 400 fallen officers—are virtual this year. But organizers continue to remember the sacrifices of law enforcement across the country.

North Georgia Game Warden Stanley Curtis Elrod’s legacy lives on, his name now etched in the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. His memory is forever etched in the heart of his wife, Julie.

“He literally would say he was a legend in his time. But he was all about life and laughter and love. He never met a stranger,” she said. “He was a man of faith who loved his family, friends, job, state.”

Capt. Elrod, who everyone calls Stan, was out on a run, something he did to stay fit for work, when he was struck by a drunk driver on September 3 last year. He died at the scene, leaving behind his wife and 2 boys, Levi and Luke.

“They’re a lot like their dad, so that helps on days when I’m missing their dad,” she said. “So to see him in them is truly a blessing, eases the pain.”

Stan was a 27-year veteran of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Coworker Lt. Judd Smith calls him a partner but more importantly a close friend.

“He was a unique guy, always full of fun. He was a jokester from day 1, he could come off with some one-liners like nobody’s business,” Smith said.

Judd and Stan rode together in past years in the Police Unity Tour, honoring fallen officers.

Now this week, Judd is participating in a Police Unity Tour bike ride in Florida in Stan’s memory, a 350-mile journey from Tallahassee to Titusville. The riders will finish their ride at the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum.

“It means a lot more even that it has to me in the past,” said Smith.

In the nation’s capital, Police Week events are virtual this week because of COVID restrictions. Stanley’s name is one of 394 officers engraved on the memorial this year.

“We owe it to them to not forget their sacrifice,” said Fraternal Order of Police President Patrick Yoes.

Police Week organizers say there will be an in-person candlelight vigil and memorial service the second week of October in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about the events this week, including the virtual candlelight vigil, click here.

Supervisor of Videography Timothy Knapp and Photojournalist/Editor Tyler Smith contributed to this report.

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