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Local law enforcement celebrating National Police Week at home this year
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Motorists pass underneath the Gainesville pedestrian bridge adorned with a Hall County Strong banner in remembrance of Deputy Blane Dixon and thanking the community for its support Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. - photo by Scott Rogers

Gainesville will light its downtown pedestrian bridge blue from May 9-15 in honor of National Police Week.

In-person events in Washington, D.C. were canceled this year and last due to COVID-19 concerns. The Hall County Sheriff’s Office had a delegation that planned to go in honor of Lt. Brian McNair and Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon. 

McNair, who started with the Sheriff’s Office in 2000, died in July after a serious illness. Dixon was fatally shot while pursuing suspects in July 2019.

The Sheriff’s Office, along with the McNair and Dixon families, will instead attend the in-person events in October.

“I know our delegation and both families are disappointed at not being there in person,” Sheriff Gerald Couch said in a news release. “While we plan to make the journey to D.C. later this year, I thought we needed to do something local and immediate. Lighting the bridge blue is a small, but meaningful way to demonstrate our respect for Sheriff’s Office fallen and for law enforcement community-wide.”

Both men’s names were added to a marble memorial in front of the Sheriff’s Office headquarters on Browns Bridge Road.

“I can think of no better way than to utilize this iconic public structure in the center of our community to maximize our reach in acknowledging the importance of these brave men and women,” Gainesville City Manager Bryan Lackey said in a news release. 

Regional events