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Family man, positive influence, fighter: Gordon sheriff mourns captain claimed by COVID

Sheriff Mitch Ralston recounted the life of Captain Michael D. Garigan following his death on Sunday.
Credit: Gordon County Sheriff's Office
Gordon County Sheriff's Office Captain Mike Garigan

GORDON COUNTY, Ga. — Yet another Georgia law enforcement agency is saying a heartfelt farewell to one of their own following his death from what the sheriff described as COVID-19-related medical complications.

Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston shared in a statement that one of his veteran captains, Michael D. Garigan, had died on Sunday morning.

Sheriff Ralston said Garigan had served with the sheriff's office for over 30 years as a deputy, detective and, most recently, as the jail division commander.

"He rose steadily through the ranks, and was decorated on numerous occasions for bravery and excellent police work," the sheriff said in a statement.

For many who grew up in the county back in the 1990s, he may also be familiar as the coordinator for the DARE program which aimed to keep kids off of drugs. The sheriff said he was "fondly remembered by hundreds of children" and that he was a positive influence on them.

"He was extraordinarily popular in the community," the sheriff said.

He added that, even amid his illness, Captain Garigan "battled tenaciously and bravely" for several weeks."

"He was a fighter," Sheriff Ralston said.

The note also went on to describe the man behind the badge as a person who loved sports and being a coach and also loved his children.

"He loved people. He was a dedicated peace officer, a devoted Christian and a loving family man," the note concluded, adding that he will be missed by the sheriff and his office.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike's family at this time," he said.