Hall Sheriff's officials said goodbye to one of the old guard Friday with full honors, as Sgt. Stan Bullock, a longtime veteran of the department, was laid to rest.
At a fog-blanketed graveside at Memorial Park Cemetery, a uniformed honor guard detail fired off a volley of rifle shots and a bugler played Taps. Hall County Sheriff Steve Cronic presented Bullock's widow, Joyce, with the flag that draped her husband's coffin, and a bagpiper played "Amazing Grace."
Afterward, as mourners filed out, some sheriff's veterans paused to fondly recall Bullock, who retired in 1999 after 34 years with the agency and died Sunday at age 71 following an extended illness.
"Stan said you could count on him, and you sure could," said Harold Farr, a retired sheriff's deputy who worked with Bullock for 25 years. "Whatever he said, you could carry it to the bank."
Bullock, who spent most of his career in various supervisory roles at the Hall County jail, had a reputation as being firm but fair, treating both employees and inmates with the respect he thought they were due. He also liked to crack a joke and make folks smile, Cronic said.
Cronic's father, John, started work at the sheriff's office at the same time as Bullock in 1965, when the agency had just a few dozen employees.
"He was one of those people that everybody liked, because he was good to everybody," Cronic said.
Bullock also had a keen memory for many of the faces and families he encountered in his job, which came in handy when he worked in the warrants division in the 1980s.
"When you were riding with Stan, it was always easier, because he knew everybody and knew their families," Lt. Gary Smith said.
Smith said Bullock taught him that "to be a law enforcement officer, it's not just about locking people up. It's about helping people, and he was always willing to go the extra step to help people. Stan could handle problems just by talking to folks."
"He wanted everybody to get a fair deal," Farr said. "He was a fine fellow."
And his loyalty to local law enforcement was unmatched, Farr said. "He lived for that sheriff's department," Farr said.