Former GA police officer dies in Afghan attack - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Former GA police officer dies in Afghan attack

CALHOUN, GORDON COUNTY, GA – A former Calhoun Police officer and Whitfield County Sheriff's Office employee died on Monday in an attack in Afghanistan.

Wayne Willard, of Calhoun, was working as a civilian contractor training local Afghan police when the attack occurred.

Wayne Willard was employed by the Calhoun Police Department from 2001 through 2008.

Officer Willard became a Patrol Officer for the Calhoun Police Department in July 2005.  He was promoted to Sergeant, Special Response Team Commander/Training Officer/Regional Bomb Squad Technician. 

Sergeant Willard was responsible for the initial and continued training of the CPD Special Response Team.

Eyewitness News received this statement from the Calhoun Police Department:

Wayne Willard was employed by the Calhoun Police Department beginning July 1, 2001 through April 18, 2008. Officer Willard began as a Patrol Officer working in that capacity until July 13, 2005; then he was promoted to Sergeant, Special Response Team Commander/Training Officer/Regional Bomb Squad Technician.

Sergeant Willard was responsible for the initial training of the Police Department's Special Response Team and the continued training of the Special Response Team as well as the training of the whole department's officers. Sergeant Willard was a visionary and prepared our officers for the future task they would encounter. Sergeant Willard brought not only his police training, but his military training as well to the department to share with all law enforcement officers who participated in his training.

Sergeant Willard was a loyal dedicated law enforcement officer as well as a true patriot.

The Calhoun Police Department wants to express our deepest sympathy to Sergeant Willard's family during this tragic time.

Willard was killed just two weeks before he was scheduled to return home to his family in North Georgia.

Willard was working in Kandahar, the largest southern city in Afghanistan and the birthplace of the Taliban.

Willard, a civilian contractor, was training local police officers when a suicide bomber crashed a mini-van into the police station.

"He wanted officers to be prepared for the future," said Calhoun Police Chief Garry Moss in an interview with Eyewitness News, "he worked diligently to make sure they were prepared for the future."

Moss delivered the news to his department Monday.

Moss says Willard served as a Calhoun Police officer for seven years and worked his way up from patrol officer to sergeant.

"He was a very energetic and enthusiastic person," said Moss, "he was a visionary."

Willard was in charge of training the entire Calhoun Police Department. Moss says it was only fitting he would do the same for the Afghan police force.

"Wayne was a trainer and a patriot," said Moss, "he really loved his country and his community."

Willard leaves behind his wife and two children.

His body will be returned to Gordon County possibly by the end of the week.

The family hopes to have a memorial service by Sunday.

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