The memory of Newton County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) Deputy Justin White will continue to take root in Newton County as he was honored Tuesday morning with the planting of a tree by the Dalton Police Department (DPD) as part of the Planting Brotherhood initiative.
“It means the world to us,” Morgan White, Deputy Justin White’s wife said. “It means a lot just to see all the love and support.”
Morgan White said her daughter, Charlee, will enjoy being able to visit the tree in honor of her father.
“She loves to go visit daddy at his grave,” she said. “She’ll lay with him, she’ll talk with him, she’ll play with him, she’ll tell me he’s our angel and we can’t see him.”
Morgan White said Deputy Justin White always aspired to go into law enforcement.
“He loved what he did; he loved his job,” she said. “He would come home and tell me stories of stories where he helped save somebody, just whatever, he loved it.”
She said Deputy Justin White would have loved the tree planting ceremony.
“He was always one that it was always all about him,” she said. “He probably had the biggest grin on his face – just smiling – because for once it was all about him.”
Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown said Justin’s memory will live forever with the planting of the tree.
“Family, friends, loved ones from the community, and even his brothers and sisters here in this organization can always come out and visit this site and see Justin’s fruits of his labor still lives in this community,” he said. “This has been very difficult for all of us, but it has been very difficult for me.
“This happening during my watch has been something that will forever be a spot in my heart.”
The Planting Brotherhood initiative was started after a DPD officer lost his father and a tree was planted in his honor. The tree at NCSO is the third tree that has been planted and there are five more left to do.
“We honor all of the officers in the State of Georgia who were killed in the line of duty,” DPD Officer Soloman Douhne said. “Hopefully we don’t have to do as many in 2017.”
Sheriff Brown said he thinks the organization is a great way to honor fallen officers.
“Often when situations happen to officers who’ve lost a life, many times we feel as if we’re forgotten, but with this brotherhood and sisterhood this is going to be a gesture that is going to keep the officer alive, his or her legacy alive,” he said. “It also is going to unite and unify organizations throughout the State of Georgia. I think it’s such a wonderful idea and I thank the Dalton Police Department.”
The tree planted in White’s honor is an October Glory Maple, which is similar to other trees at the department. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, an October Glory Maple is a tree known for its bright red color and round shape. The tree grows to a height of 40 to 50 feet at a rate of 13 to 24 inches each year.
Deputy Justin White, 28, passed away late last year from injuries sustained in a single-vehicle crash while on his way to an emergency call.