On October 23, 2011 Deputy J.D Paugh was shot and killed while attempting to help a vehicle on the side of Bobby Jones Expressway. Now his story is one of many to be featured in a future film. A crew is in the CSRA this week to film for their upcoming documentary, â€œFallenâ€. The movie aims to bring awareness to the number of officers killed in the line of duty each year in the U.S.
â€œItâ€™s not a number itâ€™s not a badge, itâ€™s not a uniform, itâ€™s a person with a family with people that love them, a person that was out there risking their life for you,â€ said Sgt. Thomas Marchese who says he set out on a mission to teach folks about what is like to be an officer.
Two years ago when the California-based policeman started the Fallen Project, it was donations from people here in the CSRA that go the project started. Tuesday, he was in Augusta telling the story of Augustaâ€™s own fallen officer, Deputy J.D Paugh.
â€œWe knew that this was going to be a big part of the film especially since it had such a huge impact on the area,â€ said Sgt. Marchese.
Paughâ€™s patrol bike is now at the Augusta History Museum, you can still see the bullet marks. Deputy Terry Skinner was the officer to arrive on the scene that night. â€œWhen I pulled up and I saw that motorcycle on the side I just knew I was going to find him out here in the field on top of the guy handcuffing him and bringing him back to the car.â€ But instead, Deputy J.D Paugh was shot immediately, not even getting the chance to put his kickstand down.
Deputy Skinner says he hopes the film serves â€œas a reminder that the film is going to be around for a long time and JDâ€™s memory is going to stick around for a long time.â€ According to the National Law Enforcementâ€™s Memorial Fund, 67 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2014. A 31% increase over the same period in 2013, which is why the filmâ€™s message is even more important to get out to the rest of the country. â€œWeâ€™ve raised about $80,000 dollars but we need at least double that to do with it what we want to do and actually get it in theatres,â€ said Sgt. Marchese. But the crew canâ€™t finish the film without donations. They are asking you for your help. They hope to release the movie in 2015. You can donate to the Fallen Project here. Wednesday they head to Aiken to continue filming the stories of fallen Public Safety Officers Scotty Richardson and Sandy Rogers.