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Last respects for deputy
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Forsyth County News
The buzz spread quickly late Thursday afternoon.

“What’s going on downtown?”

“Why are there so many cops out?”

“Is there a bomb threat?”

The answer, while not that sensational, was no less solemn.

The law enforcement presence was part of the funeral procession for a longtime Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy who died Monday while on duty.

James Michael Lord, 56, of Dawsonville, was felled by an apparent heart attack while transporting an inmate from Forsyth County Magistrate Court to the jail.

Funeral services were Thursday afternoon at First Baptist Church of Cumming.

The somber procession, some 100 vehicles strong, rolled through downtown Cumming to Ga. 400, and from there south to a Roswell cemetery.

Lord, who had worked for the sheriff’s office since 2000, was buried with police honors.

He was hailed by friends and colleagues as “one of those great, great kinds of guys that everybody liked.”

His was a familiar face around the courthouse and sheriff’s facilities. The heart attack struck while he was driving his sheriff’s office van, a frequent sight around town.

A motorcycle enthusiast, Lord had previously worked for the Roswell and Alpharetta police departments. He also served in the U.S. Air Force.

His death is a stirring reminder that we are promised no tomorrows. Life is short, perhaps more so for those who put their lives on the line daily to protect the rest of us.  

Far too often we take for granted their dedication and service.

What was going on downtown Thursday?

A brief tribute to a life well lived.

For a few minutes, a community paused to pay its last respects to a veteran law enforcement officer who served this county and country well.