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Officer, wounded in standoff, named Deputy Sheriff of the Year
Joe Groover shot during Lula standoff
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A deputy who was shot and seriously wounded in a standoff last year has been honored as the Georgia Sheriffs' Association’s Deputy Sheriff of the Year.

Joe Groover was honored at the GSA’s summer conference, Hall County Sheriff’s Col. Jeff Strickland said.

Groover had surgery on his right arm last August after he was shot with a .44 Magnum slug fired by Hubert Stanley Tate of Lula. A SWAT team had responded to Tate’s travel trailer after getting reports of an armed man walking through downtown.

Deputies exchanged gunfire with Tate, who was killed.

Groover, a 3-year veteran of the department, was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital after being shot. He spent several months recovering from his injuries.

The award marked the fourth time a member of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office has been recognized by the Sheriff’s Association. Lt. Jack Wimpy received the Professional Contribution Award in 2006, Deputy Mark Thomason received the award of valor in 2007 and Sheriff Steve Cronic was named Sheriff of the Year in 2007.

“We are extremely proud of Deputy Groover and are honored that the Georgia Sheriffs' Association has recognized so many of our dedicated public servants over the last several years,” Strickland said.