'I love helping people': Family says slain Georgia officer was a 'true public servant'

The family and friends of a police officer killed on his first shift with the Alamo Police Department watched solemnly as members of law enforcement led a procession through the town on Monday, two days after the shooting that took the officer's life.

Family members were still coping with the loss of 26-year-old Dylan Harrison, but to solace that he'd feel honored by the tribute to his life on Monday. 

"This was absolutely beautiful, and I know he's smiling down from heaven," mother Kathy Harrison said. "Every time an officer would lose his life, he would make sure to suit up and be a part of the processional. But today, sadly, it was for him."

Authorities were transporting officer Harrison's body from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab where investigators conducted an autopsy. 

Officer Dylan Harrison is seen her with his wife and his young infant in a recent family photo provided by the GBI.

Officer Dylan Harrison is seen her with his wife and his young infant in a recent family photo provided by the GBI. (Georgia Bureau of Investigaiton)

Family members described Harrison as "jovial" and "prankster" and "civic-minded." Harrison's uncle said his nephew joined a volunteer fire department as a teenager. Harrison's mother said he kept a radio by his side on stormy nights in the event he would be called to assist someone. 

Onlookers stood supporting Harrison's loved ones. First responders rolled past in tribute to the new father who leaves behind a wife and 6-month-old baby. Family members said he was on the verge of becoming a certified electrician but decided against a career change because he wouldn't be happy if he didn't work in law enforcement. 

Dylan Harrison's father said he told him weeks before his death, "I love helping people."

"My son loved what he did," Jeff Harrison said. "As hard as it is for us, that's one of the things that gets us through."

Harrison was working his first shift as a part-time officer with the Alamo Police Department. In addition to Officer Harrison being a part-time Alamo Police Department officer, he also was a full-time task force agent with the Oconee Drug Task Force in Eastman. He worked professionally in law enforcement since 2018. Harrison's uncle said the young family was saving up to buy a house. 

On Sunday, law enforcement arrested the suspected gunman, Damien Furguson, about a mile from the police department where the shooting took place. 

Damien Ferguson (Georgia Department of Public Safety)

Investigators said, at around 1 a.m. on Saturday, Harrison was shot and killed outside the police station.

The shooting happened in Wheeler County, about 90 miles southeast of Macon and about 124 miles west of Savannah. 

"I need understanding, but I guess I'm never going to get that," Kathy Harrison said.

Funeral services for Officer Harrison are scheduled for October 15, according to an announcement on Wednesday. The service will be held in the DuBose Porter Center, 560 Pinehill Road in Dublin.

A portion of Highway 80 between Dublin and Dudley will be closed between 1:00 p.m. through 4 p.m. for Officer Harrison's funeral detail, the Laurens County Sheriff's Office said.