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May 20, 2015
 

Deputy David “Bubba” Johnson remembered, honored

WASHINGTON, D.C.: A group of MCSO deputies and a Clarksville Police officer sat around the dinner table during National Police Week last week. They first exchanged stories about Deputy David ‘Bubba’ Johnson, but they soon found themselves discussing the devastating night they lost him.

On January 12, 2014, Johnson was killed in a crash where his car left the roadway.

They all remember responding to the crash, unable to believe that they had lost one of their own. Some couldn?t finish their stories as tears welled up in their eyes and their voices broke. Since that day, they?ve all relied on each other, supported each other, and became a close family in remembrance. And that?s what National Police Week was all about ? remembering Bubba and other law enforcement officers lost in the line of duty.

These deputies, along with Johnson?s wife, Jennifer, his daughter, Shelby, his brother Ray and over 20 members of their family along with command staff members of the MCSO all came together in Washington, D.C. to attend events in remembrance of fallen officers, including Bubba.

The MCSO also invited first-responding Clarksville Police Department Officer Rebecca Erickson and first-responding THP Trooper Todd Pitts.

On Tuesday, at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, 1,900 cyclists finished a 300 mile ride. Each one rode in memory of fallen officers and raised money for The National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Fund.

“I was speechless watching all the bicyclists riding in honor of our fallen officers,” said Jennifer Johnson. A group of cyclists from Tennessee presented her with bracelets they wore during the tour with her husband?s name on it, and embraced her, nearly in tears.

Wednesday, those in attendance from the MCSO were invited to tour the National Sheriff?s Association Office where the Executive Director of the NSA presented Sheriff Fuson with an ornate box, which housed an honorary NSA Sheriff?’s badge, among other things.

“This is the first time that the NSA has done this and it was an honor to receive this on behalf of Bubba,” Fuson told Jennifer Johnson as he presented the box to her later.

Wednesday evening at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, several speakers offered their condolences and lit a candle in honor of all fallen officers where Bubba’s name is now etched. “It’s difficult not to get emotional, seeing thousands of candles lit on a cool, somber evening, all the while thinking about Bubba,” said Sheriff John Fuson. Names were read off as a laser thin blue line shot over the crowd in an awe-inspiring vision.

Thursday, Concerns of Police Survivors had support and grief counseling available to the families and co-workers of those who had lost an officer. Jennifer Johnson said the ability to meet with other wives of fallen officers was something she appreciated.

Ending the week, on the west lawn of the United States Capitol, Jennifer Johnson along with his daughter Shelby and brother Ray, placed a flower on the wreath for fallen officers during a ceremony where President Obama was the keynote speaker.

“Shelby and I couldn’t have made it without our family beside us, including our MCSO family,” Johnson said. “I would like to thank Sheriff Fuson and Chief Deputy Smith for making this happen, and to the officers working double-time back home so Bubba’s shift could be there with us. I was so honored.”

During a dinner gathering that week, Fuson addressed the entire group. “Bubba’s family, if you ever need anything, I, along with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, will always be there for you,” Fuson said. “You are part of our family.”

Then, he made a toast, “To Bubba, one of the finest law enforcement officers in Tennessee. We will see you again.”



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