Commander Patrick Doyle a hero in blue
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.