Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Fallen Hero is memorialized

A good man was memorialized today. The funeral for Colleton County Deputy Dennis Compton took place under a bright blue Carolina sky at 10:00 am. Dennis will be buried in Virginia, leaving behind a wife and four children.

It’s always sad and tragic to see a police officer’s funeral. As a former Military Policeman, I’m deeply saddened when I hear about a Line of Duty Death of people I consider my brothers still, and this death hit closer to home because the fallen officer lived right here in my town and we knew some of the same people, although I didn’t personally know Dennis or his family. I’m sure we’ve passed each other around town & said hi, since I often wave to officers as I drive by as a sign of respect & camaraderie. Dennis was just 39, the same age as me.

There were literally hundreds of officers present at First Baptist Church as I drove by at about 9:00 on my way to take my dogs to the vet. I saw state troopers, Walterboro city officers, and deputies from Colleton, Georgetown, Florence, and Dorchester counties in the few brief seconds I was in the area. I also saw one fellow in a kilt, most certainly a bagpiper. After I was done at the vet’s office, I assiduously avoided driving home the same way I came, just so I wouldn’t intrude on a sacred moment.

Rest in peace, Deputy Compton.

Dennis was killed by a shotgun blast at 3:00 am Wednesday after responding to a burglar alarm at a home on Sunflower Drive in the small village of Smoaks. If you have any sort of information that will bring Dennis’ killers to justice, please call Crime Stoppers locally at 554-1111 or 1-888-CRIMESC statewide. Tips can also be made directly to SLED's state Information and Intelligence Center at 1-866-472-8477.
Donations may be made to the Dennis Compton Family Fund at the Enterprise Bank of South Carolina to help the family.

Also, Palmetto Cops Inc., a nonprofit organization, is selling memorial T-shirts to benefit the family. For more information or to place an order, go to Shirts are $15 each and all proceeds will go directly to the family.

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