HALL COUNTY, Ga. — Hearts in Hall County are still aching after a deputy was killed in the line of duty Sunday.

Nicolas Blane Dixon was laid to rest Thursday. Family and friends gathered to say goodbye. But Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said they won't let the tragedy overshadow their work and his life.

"I want to reassure the citizens of Hall County that Deputy Dixon’s death will not deter the men and women with whom he worked from continuing to fulfill their sworn duties. His legacy will not be one of crippling sorrow, but one of honorable work in a noble profession.

In a heartfelt Facebook post, he thanked everyone who has surrounded them with comfort and love during the difficult time.

"In these days of what seems like an overload of negativity toward law enforcement, our hearts are warmed and reassured that we live among some genuinely caring and thoughtful people," the post reads. 

In the post, Couch recounted a time from a year ago when he said there were two deadly encounters where Hall County deputies had to fight to defend their lives. In those instances, he said they prevailed.

"So I now find myself in a similar position, after yet another episode of extraordinary violence toward our Deputies," he said. "I desperately wish that I was able to say once again that we prevailed, but this time we are faced with the sobering reality of saying goodbye to one of our young citizen-guardians, Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon."

With the loss, Couch said it's reached every aspect of their community. He asked for everyone to continue to pray for Dixon's family. 

 "Their loss is immeasurable," he wrote in the post. "From now on, every time they see a Hall County Sheriff’s car driving down the road, they will think of him."

He also asked for people to keep the sheriff's office in their thoughts as well as they continue working to keep the community safe. 

"Imagine, if you will, their next shift briefing when they will look around and find a void that cannot be filled," he added. "Not the one created by one less person on a manpower chart, but the one created by the tragic loss of a smiling face and a large, caring personality."

Dixon leaves behind a wife and two young sons.

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