Com­man­der Pa­trick Doyle a hero in blue

The Catoosa County News - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Jas­mine R. Roth­man jas­mineroseroth­[email protected] com

On Sun­day, Dec. 30, 2018, Pa­trick Doyle, com­man­der from the Look­out Moun­tain Ju­di­cial Cir­cuit Drug Task Force, ended his bat­tle with can­cer at the age of 47.

While serv­ing in the po­lice force, the im­pact he had was un­matched. This com­pas­sion for his fel­low man ex­tended not only to the com­mu­nity, but to ev­ery sin­gle per­son Doyle came into con­tact with, and per­haps, most im­por­tantly, his fam­ily.

To all who knew him, he was con­sid­ered a fam­ily man and a pic­turesque fa­ther. Sher­iff Wil­son of Walker County de­scribed Doyle as “the only man I know of that could be in the woods be­fore day­light for turkey hunt­ing, drop­ping a line at the fish­ing hole at 10 a.m., watch­ing the Bull­dogs play at three, deep-fry­ing a turkey at five, and go­ing on a meth lab bust at eight.”

Doyle’s team at the task force worked nar­cotics in­ves­ti­ga­tions in Dade, Walker, Ca­toosa and Chat­tooga coun­ties, where they would cover ru­ral ar­eas that had plenty of traf­fick­ing ter­ri­tory. Since he be­came com­man­der, Pa­trick Doyle was the face of drug aware­ness in North Ge­or­gia, speak­ing at schools and ap­pear­ing on UCTV. He also con­tin­ued to as­sist on in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

His funeral was held on Wed­nes­day, Jan. 2, at Lafayette First Bap­tist Church. Law en­force­ment from Lafayette and Walker County at­tended, as well as an abun­dance of com­mu­nity mem­bers who were all there to show their sup­port. Dur­ing the ser­vice, Sher­iff Wil­son and Jim Pow­ell, the pas­tor from Har­bor Lights Bap­tist, both gave heart­felt speeches about the legacy Doyle left be­hind. Also in­cluded in the ser­vice were tra­di­tional law en­force­ment funeral cus­toms, in­clud­ing a fi­nal ra­dio call, salut­ing, and pass­ing along the folded U.S. flag to Doyle’s widow, Da­cia.

Most of those who worked along­side him de­scribed Doyle as a “yes” man.

In the eu­logy, Sher­iff Wil­son shared a touch­ing story.

“Once, Pat men­tioned go­ing out of town to take PJ (Doyle’s son) to an FFA meet­ing. As usual, I only ac­tu­ally heard part of the con­ver­sa­tion. Lit­tle did I know is that PJ was re­ceiv­ing an award at the na­tional FFA con­ven­tion, where the pres­i­dent of the United States, Don­ald Trump, would be speak­ing. This is quite rare, as the pres­i­dent is usu­ally in­vited, but Pres­i­dent Trump spent about an hour with those kids. It com­pletely slipped my mind, and I called Pat, for­get­ting that he was out of town. Pat picked up the phone quickly and an­swered in his usual up­beat tone. I asked if he was busy and he said he was at the FFA con­ven­tion in In­di­anapo­lis, and the pres­i­dent was get­ting ready to speak. I apol­o­gized, ex­plain­ing my for­get­ful­ness, and asked him why in the world he an­swered the phone. He sim­ply said, “Be­cause you are the sher­iff.”’

No mat­ter the time, Doyle was al­ways com­mit­ted to his work and help­ing his fel­low man.

In a com­ment on the Ca­toosa Walker News face­book page, Andi Guf­fey said, “My heart­felt con­do­lences to his fam­ily, friends, and co­work­ers! This man played an im­por­tant role in sav­ing my life, just by sim­ply do­ing his job. Be­cause of him, the DTF, and our Lord, I have been in re­cov­ery for over 3 years. For that I am eter­nally grate­ful to him.”

In var­i­ous in­ter­views in the past, Doyle would de­scribe his work as cru­cial to re­cov­ery for ad­dicts. He felt that, to rise up, one must first hit rock bot­tom, and that his work helped that process. In fact, his pas­tor, Jim Pow­ell, men­tioned this in his com­ments Wed­nes­day, say­ing “[Doyle] once said that his po­si­tion was used to bring these peo­ple to rock bot­tom. Then some­times peo­ple like my­self are used to lift them back up. We’d just be­came friends, but more than any­thing I ad­mired him be­cause, as Sher­iff Wil­son said, he was a fam­ily man.”

In Novem­ber of 2018, in an in­ter­view with the Walker County Messenger, Doyle de­scribed his work as “rip­ping off that band-aid for peo­ple so that they can learn to fo­cus on heal­ing them­selves.”

Above all of this, Com- man­der Doyle’s fa­vorite ti­tle was “dad.” He en­joyed noth­ing more than get­ting to bond with his son, PJ. The sher­iff also ad­dressed his son, say­ing, “You were the light of your fa­ther’s life. He was so proud of you, and don’t you ever for­get that. Daddy loves you so much.”

Pat was truly one of a kind and will be missed by all who knew him. He passed away on Sun­day, Dec. 30, 2018, sur­rounded by fam­ily and friends.

Mem­bers of the Lafayette Po­lice Depart­ment stood to honor Pa­trick Doyle.

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