ELLIJAY, Ga. – A somber day in Gilmer County began in the rain today for officers of the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office as they remember the anniversary of their fallen comrade, Deputy Sheriff Brett Dickey.
Today marked 24 years since Deputy Dickey, age 30, was shot and killed while serving a warrant on February 13, 1996.
The Sheriff’s Office held a memorial for Deputy Dickey today, as they do every year. The office stated, “We will never forget our fallen deputy, Brett Dickey, but we especially remember him today, 24 years since we lost him in the line of duty, Feb. 13, 1996.”
Listed on the Officer Down Memorial Page, Deputy Brett Dickey’s memorial offers the information on his service:
Deputy Sheriff Brett Dickey was shot and killed while serving a warrant.
Several officers, including Deputy Dickey’s father-in-law, Chief Deputy of Gilmer County, were accompanying Deputy Dickey during the stand-off and they were responsible for apprehending the suspect.
Deputy Dickey had served with Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office for four years. He was survived by his wife and 9-month-old son.
Deputy Brett Dickey, Badge 508, has been noted in the past by Sheriff Stacy Nicholson saying, “He was not just any old police officer, he was a true public servant, and he was good guy.”
GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – Details are finally coming to light over a shooting reported over Christmas Eve involving response from Gilmer’s Sheriff’s Deputies, Criminal Investigation Division (CID), and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
According to the incident report released from the Sheriff’s Office, officers en route to respond to other situations were redirected just after 7 p.m. to respond to an incident on Newberry Drive, near Old Bucktown Road, regarding a “person shot” report.
Officers arrived on scene where a Green Ford Focus was blocking the entrance to a residence, some officers moved past the vehicle on foot where they found Dustin Mays shot and bleeding from his chest. The report indicates authorities immediately began first aid and EMT’s continued upon arrival.
Authorities entered the cabin on-site to secure the location and the report indicates that officers found the weapon used in the shooting inside the cabin as well.
According to the report, two others were involved in the incident and officers made contact with these two on-site. Officers remained with the two people as the initial investigation ensued.
As officers moved the vehicle blocking the entrance and EMT’s were amid care for Mays, the call for a helicopter was sent and Mays was later life-flighted to Atlanta Medical Center. One officer did note a strong smell of Marijuana from the car, however, no specific information has been released saying who the vehicle belonged to.
The two others found on-scene were released by authorities and CID and the GBI are continuing the investigation. As of January 2, 2020, when the report was initially filed, indications point that none of the three have been labeled as suspects nor been charged with anything. Additionally, authorities have not made any confirmations on the shooting being accidental, intentional, or self-defense.
However, it is our current understanding that the investigation is still ongoing and FYN will continue posting new information on the Christmas Eve shooting when available.
EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer County had plenty to celebrate this weekend during “Shop with a Hero” as volunteers from all over the county, and some outside the county, joined forces to provide a memorable and excited Saturday morning for local kids.
The First Annual “Shop with a Hero” event punctuated the Christmas season in Gilmer with a special note as not only a sign of continued cooperation between agencies but as a magical answer to families providing a special day to hang out with heroes from public service and to spend some time shopping for Christmas clothes and toys.
In years past, many will recall ‘0Shop with a Cop’ events that operated similarly to this. The major difference is that, now, every agency offers representatives and volunteers to come together and share time with the public apart from their daily capacities.
Gilmer Sheriff Stacy Nicholson said on Saturday that this is what law enforcement is really about. Coming together to help the community and to be with the community. Days like this weekend’s Shop with a Hero are the key points of their service to the public as well as a way to be seen in uniform but outside of the common interactions like traffic stops, fighting fires, medical emergencies, and other duties they perform.
The day proceeded with a morning breakfast with the children and their families as Mr. P’s donated over 200 biscuits to feed everyone. As they ate, the heroes walked around introducing themselves and spoke with many of the families while Santa Claus also visited. With breakfast completed, a full procession paraded through Ellijay and East Ellijay with full lights and sirens as the children rode a bus through town, down Maddox Drive, then onto Highway 515 and on to Walmart where each volunteer was paired with a child to shop with. Some volunteers brought their family members as well to share in the experience.
But the focus of the day was on the children as they spent nearly two hours with their officer, deputy, firefighter, or official they were paired with. Each child received a gift card of $150. They had to spend at least $75 on clothes and $75 on whatever they wanted, be it more clothes, toys, snacks, or whatever else.
As the day progressed, each child and their hero spent their time shopping and talking along with their family before moving to two designated check out lanes only for use with the Shop with a Hero event. And that still wasn’t enough for the event and those involved. That morning, the children were given a “Shop with a Hero” t-shirt to wear throughout the day and keep. As the children finished their day of shopping, most of them just after noon, they turned in their event badges and were given a stocking to take home, already holding some small stocking stuffer toys and candy.
Going even further, certain volunteers including Sheriff Stacy Nicholson himself, manned donation tables for people who just happened to be in Walmart that day. The store pre-made 486 bags of food to be sold for donation. As citizens bought these bags, they were moved from the tables to a donation bin to be donated to the Gilmer High School food pantry. They sold every single bag and still had people donating more on top of that. The excess funds were put into holding accounts to be used for next year’s event.
The event was sponsored by the Ellijay Police Foundation as a 501c3, but the event was the brainchild of Cpt. Ray Grace of the Ellijay Police Department and GBI (Georgie Bureau of Investigation) Agent Renea Green. It sponsored 52 kids to go shopping with local heroes.
The event saw representatives from the Ellijay Police Department, the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office, East Ellijay Police Department, Ellijay Fire, Gilmer Fire & Rescue, Gilmer County Public Safety, the GBI, Georgia State Patrol, and the Department of Natural Resources as they came to spend time with these families.
But more than just these men and women, volunteers from the Gilmer Board of Education and the county’s elementary and middle school administations, along with donations and volunteers from local businesses donating time and money all came together to create the special day.
In just six weeks of preparation, Gilmer County raised $13,000 in locally sourced money that went right back into a local event helping local people.
These sponsors included Southern Customs, Parks Truck Center, United Contracting, Chateau Meichtry Vineyard, Bryant Physical Therapy, Aaron Family Orchards, Ott Farms and Vineyard, CMB Management Company, King Mechanical Services, Engelheim Vineyards, Ellijay Wood Fired Pizza, Artful Ellijay, Walmart, Ellijay Convenient, B.J. Reece Orchards, Nancy Cochran Maddox Attorney at Law, Pilgrim’s, David P. Garner DBA Garner Group Enterprises, United Community Bank, Cartecay Baptist Church, Winslow Real Estate Services, and many other anonymous business and private citizen donations including Sheriff’s Deputies who donated $100 to be allowed to grow beards during December while serving on duty.
With the major success that this event saw, talks are already working towards next year. Though nothing is set for next year yet, the event coordinators have said that many of the donations have already promised the same or more to the event. They did say they have had such an overwhelming response they could already have enough to at least duplicate the event next year.
See more photos from the event at FYN’s Facebook Photo Album.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – According to reports, Ellijay City Police Officers made a Human Trafficking arrest around 1:00 a.m. on Friday, September 13, 2019. The incident occurred when an officer performed a traffic stop on a 2019 Blue Toyota Prius on Old Highway 5 and continued to the hospital.
According to a press release, “Officer Brandon Heath of the City of Ellijay Police Department conducted a traffic stop at Old Highway 5 and Bobcat Trail in Ellijay, Georgia to investigate a vehicle which failed to dim headlights and had no working tag light.”
The driver, 26-year-old Cordarrel William Blandburg, allegedly told officials he was taking his fiancé, the female passenger in the vehicle, to the hospital for possible seizures. Officer Heath continued to hospital with the vehicle where the passenger was treated. However, the officer continued investigations. The investigation led officials to discover that Blandburg was not the passenger’s fiance and allegedly had possible gang affiliations.
According to the release, “This led to Officer Heath to confirm that Blandburg did not have an active driver’s license and revealed Blandburg had active warrants out of Clayton County, Georgia for the offenses of Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer and Aggravated Assault. The confirmation of this information resulted in Officer Heath arresting Blandburg.”
The report states the female passenger later explained to officers that Blandburg “was (as explained by the victim) her “owner and enforcer”.” According to Ellijay Police, Blandburg is still in custody at the Gilmer County Detention Center. However, they also stated, “Prior to release from custody, and upon posting bond in Gilmer County, he will be transferred to other jurisdictions having charges on him where he will be required to post additional bond on those charges.”
Further details on the incident and the victim involved are not being released as the investigation continues. However, Ellijay Police have contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as well as Homeland Security Investigations who are now actively assisting in the ongoing and active investigation.
Read the full press release below:
On Friday, September 13, 2019 at 01:00 AM, Officer Brandon Heath of the City of Ellijay Police Department conducted a traffic stop at Old Highway 5 and Bobcat Trail in Ellijay, Georgia to investigate a vehicle which failed to dim headlights and had no working tag light. The driver, 26 year old Cordarrel William Blandburg, was found to be driving without a license and was found to have active warrants from Clayton County Ga. for Obstruction of Police as well as Aggravated Assault. Additional investigation led to information causing the Ellijay Police Department to charge Blandburg with Human Trafficking under OCGA 16-5-46.
Upon initial contact, Blandburg explained to Officer Heath that he was attempting to take his fiancé (female passenger) to the hospital due to possible seizures. The officer followed them to the hospital where the passenger was turned over to medical staff as the officer continued his investigation. This led to Officer Heath to confirm that Blandburg did not have an active driver’s license and revealed Blandburg had active warrants out of Clayton County, Georgia for the offenses of Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer and Aggravated Assault. The confirmation of this information resulted in Officer Heath arresting Blandburg.
Officer Heath continued to investigate the situation and upon doing so he discovered that Blandburg has possible gang affiliations and was not, as he first claimed, the passenger’s fiancé but was (as explained by the victim) her “owner and enforcer”. This continued investigation by Officer Heath led to information that Blandburg was participating in Human Trafficking for Sexual Purposes in violation of OCGA 16-5-46. Ellijay police Detective Doug Colburn began following up on the case and in doing so contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as well as Homeland Security Investigations who are now actively assisting in the ongoing and active investigation.
Blandburg is currently held in the Gilmer County Detention Center on $17,000 bond. Prior to release from custody, and upon posting bond in Gilmer County, he will be transferred to other jurisdictions having charges on him where he will be required to post additional bond on those charges.
EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – The City of East Ellijay is making plans on the possibility of an election for city council members in the coming month as they appointed officers and set qualifying fees for the positions.
During their March meeting, the Council officially appointed City Clerk Linda Wood as Municipal Election Qualifying Officer to oversee the qualifying of candidates. Having run the elections for several times now, she holds experience and familiarity with the requirements at both state and city levels according to East Ellijay Mayor Mack West.
They also appointed Gary Watkins as Election Superintendent. With an agreed fee of $1,500 for services, Watkins has also served several times in this position. West noted that if each position only has one qualifier, they will assume the election completed and settle on a lesser stipend for Watkins as his services would not be required after that.
Another requirement for the elections, the council set qualifying fees for positions including $100 for each council member position and $1,000 for the office of mayor.
As the city moves closer to elections, the possibility of even having elections hinges on the number of qualifiers for positions.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – “It’s easy to stand up and be the leader of an agency that is doing so much positive every day,” said Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson on February 7, 2019, as he honored members of his staff.
Emphasizing how much his staff and employees help to make his position easier, Nicholson offered thanks for people who have “turned a job into a profession.”
The awards night saw several GCSO employees and even some officers from Ellijay Police Department honored from recent events.
Nicholson went on to note that discussions and debates among the Command Staff for these awards is one of the hardest discussions he has. He said that so much has changed since he started his time as Sheriff. With increasing issues and dangers in the profession, he took extra effort to express how much he cares and concerns himself over protecting the safety of officers as they perform their duties.
The first award came with from Sid Turner and Jared Ogden of the Sons of the American Revolution who presented their Sons of the American Revolution Commendation Medal to Sergeant Jason Reed.
Turner said, “Sergeant Reed started his career with Gilmer County
Sheriff Nicholson presented the remaining awards for the Sheriff’s Office.
Sarah Raynes received the Communications Officer of the Year award.
Nicholson commented on how upbeat and energetic she has been in 2018 including a jarring move from day shift to night shift to fill a need in the department. He went on to note that her attitude throughout all of the positions hardships and trials makes her a pleasant dispatcher and great worker.
Detective Jeffrey Shelton received the Detective of the Year award.
Nicholson shared the words he received about Shelton saying it was his tenaciousness and his attitude as he was assigned several cases that blew up into much larger ordeals than originally expected. Through these cases, he continued his efforts, “sticking with it” as Nicholson stated.
In a position like Detective, Nicholson said certain cases can be very easy. But, in one day, they can become an investigation spanning several generations.
Corporal Tommy Humphries received the Deputy of the Year award.
Nicholson spoke about Humphries’ specialized talents as Deputy able to go to neighbors dispute, mediate the process, settle the issue, and be invited back for coffee later.
The effort and the nature of a person required to see that kind of success in the role of Deputy is an indispensable member of the office.
Nicholson said that dealing with tense situations is part of the job that Deputies must deal with, but handling those issues so well that you’re invited back, “That’s a good Deputy Sheriff.”
Lieutenant James Knight received the Court Services Deputy of the Year award.
Nicholson stated that most people don’t understand all the work that goes
Kim Rogers received the Civilian Employee of the Year award.
Nicholson admitted the excessive work that gets put on the civilian employees that the office has saying, “They do a lot of work, they give above and beyond. They keep the agency running straight. They keep the agency in good graces with the District Attorney’s Office by providing reports. They keep the jail records straight. They keep bonds straight. They keep the money we take in. They keep everything going in the right direction.”
Nicholson went on to note the Rogers came to the Sheriff’s Office to fill the gap of a big role. She took the spot to a new level in everything she keeps track of. He noted the extra work she has taken in since joining the office and rolling with everything asked of her.
The final award of the night actually hosted several officers and deputies as Nicholson presented Combat Citations along with a ribbon, to be worn on their uniforms, for those involved in the November 6, 2018, incident.
Those receiving the Combat Citation included Ellijay Police Officer Trevor McClure and Sergeant Aaron Mashburn and Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office’s Deputy First Class Lesse Sippel, Corporal Gene Hefner, Sergeant Daniel King, and Lieutenant Joshua Chancey.
These men and women served honorably in the face of danger and threat to their lives this night. Nicholson delivered the award saying, “On November 6, 2018… Members of the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office and the Ellijay Police Department responded to Corals Lane in reference to a man with a gun call. As officers approached the location, a known violent felon, armed with a pistol, attempted to ambush them. When the subject refused to drop the weapon and pointed it at officers while shouting his intent to shoot them, deadly force was employed to protect themselves and the citizens, who were in the residence, from death or harm. The officers’ actions during this life-threatening incident are to be commended.”
There were also two awards not delivered as the recipients were not available at the time of the awards ceremony.
Kurtis Parks received the Detention Officer of the Year award.
Deputy Joshua Easley received the Student Resource Officer of the Year award.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Willie McCoy, 39, of Ellijay was the only injury from Tuesday’s, November 6, shooting according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) press release today.
Requested to perform an “officer-involved-in-shooting” investigation by the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office, the GBI state that McCoy is alleged to have attempted to force his way into a residence while armed with a gun.
As officer’s from both the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office and the Ellijay Police Department responded to the 911 call, they found McCoy as they approached the house. The GBI states that the McCoy was pointing a gun at officers and the ensuing action resulted in McCoy being shot multiple times.
The press release states that EMTs provided care before transporting him to the hospital. McCoy remains there at this time.
Stay with FYN as we reach out to local law enforcement for a statement on the incident. See the full press release as follows:
Ellijay, GA (November 7, 2018) – On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an officer involved shooting investigation in the area of Quarles Lane in Ellijay, GA. Preliminary information indicates that a 911 call was made to the Gilmer County 911 Center at approximately 7:31 p.m. The caller indicated that Willie McCoy, 39, of Ellijay, GA was asked to leave the area of the residence and refused. McCoy was also armed with a gun. As the situation unfolded, McCoy attempted to make entry into the residence. Given this information and the fact that McCoy had outstanding felony warrants for aggravated assault and home invasion, officers from both the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office and the Ellijay Police Department responded to the location. Upon approach to the house, officers encountered McCoy who was pointing a gun at the officers. As a result, McCoy was shot multiple times. EMTs staged with officers and were able to provide immediate medical care to McCoy. McCoy was transported to a hospital for treatment, where he remains.
No law enforcement officers were injured in the incident.
The GBI will conduct its independent investigation. Once complete, it will be turned over to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Most of the time, when you meet a police officer, it really isn’t a pleasant experience. It has nothing to do with the people, and everything to do with their job.
You may meet them when you’re getting a ticket because you were in a big hurry and may have gone a bit over the limit, or maybe you called because you were robbed and need help, you may have even called to report a wreck and need to give your statement. In any case, the vast majority of the time, police respond to bad situations, it’s really part of the job description.
This year the Ellijay Police Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting the police force, hosted a night in an effort to change that. The National Night Out is a nation-wide community-building event that supports officers and organizations across America, but as Ellijay’s original plan for the date of the event in early August, the rain forced a reschedule.
This weekend, the Ellijay Police Foundation made good on that promise by hosting the event Saturday between 4 and 8 p.m. The event saw many of Ellijay’s Officer’s hosting or dropping by to say hello to citizens and share their time to allow the people to speak with them, play with them, and eat with them, all free of charge.
With music flowing across North Main Street and into the parking lot next to First Baptist Church, the Ellijay Police Department partnered with the Ellijay Fire Department, the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office, The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Task Force, and its sponsors to set up the police motorcycles, police cruisers, the fire truck, a hummer, and a sheriff’s cruiser for citizens to view, sit in, play with, and climb through. Kids and parents alike were allowed to set off the sirens and lights and try on the equipment that these men and women wear every day.
There was also a golf cart with a driving course and the standard test that citizens could go through while wearing “drunk goggles” simulating inebriation.
Pilgrim’s of Ellijay donated chicken and hot dogs for grilling along with the manpower and the grill to cook for the event. Country Corner Kitchen and Coca-Cola donated a trailer and people to hand out cold drinks. North Georgia Party Rentals donated a bounce house and a dunk tank to help celebrate as well.
That dunk tank saw major attention from citizens as officers climbed in. For a one dollar donation, a person could take three shots at the target to dunk the officer in the tank.
A surprise arose as a donation came from the department’s own Chief Edward Lacey to dunk one of his officers. What many citizens didn’t hear at first was that Lacey had jokingly called it “insurance” as he would be in the tank himself later in the day.
His “insurance” was response to a few people that had managed to run up and hit the button by hand instead of throwing a ball at the dunk tank. The terms were that no one was allowed to hit the button by hand unless they beat his own donation.
The protection was short-lived, however, as his officers found a “generous donor” that offered $100 to allow two officers to hit the button together to drop the Chief by hand.
The event came in partnership as the brain-child of Chief Edward Lacey and hosted by the Ellijay Police Foundation. The foundation’s purpose is to build and foster community with the police as well as gathering funds and donations to provide more training to these officers. Lacey has since reported that over $500 was raised by the dunk tank in support of these efforts.
According to Detective Colburn of the Ellijay Police Department, this is set to become an annual event for the Ellijay Police Department, though it will likely return to its original August date next year as the rain delay pushed it back to September this year.
Check out more photos from the event with our Album on FYN’s Facebook.