Family devastated after learning fallen officer's name won't be added to memorial

by: Carol Sbarge Updated:

Shane Wilson

DORAVILLE, Ga. - The family of a Doraville police officer killed by a suspected drunk driver is heartbroken to learn Shane Wilson's name won't go on a state public safety memorial.

Channel 2's Carol Sbarge spoke to the family who said the decision is disrespectful to all police officers.

"I'm offended. I don't understand it. I don't see how people could be that heartless," said Shane Wilson's wife, Katy Wilson.

Katy Wilson said she is devastated to learn his name won't be put on the Georgia Public Safety Memorial. His stepfather and mother, Jim and Gayle Hanson, both retired DeKalb officers, are devastated as well.

"The support is wonderful we've been getting and when you feel like you've been shut out of that, it's disturbing," Gayle Hanson said.

Detective Wilson's family was set to go to the Public Safety Memorial ceremony in Forsyth Monday and only found out by chance this Tuesday that in February the Public Safety Memorial committee decided he won't be added.

His name will go on the national one.

The director of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center Tim Bearden told Sbarge by phone that the criteria for a fallen police officer's name to be put on the national memorial is somebody that was killed on duty. He said for the Georgia memorial it's somebody killed in the line of duty.

"I don't know how you can draw a line that fine," Jim Hanson said.

A suspected drunk driver going the wrong way down the road killed Wilson in November as he was driving on Interstate 20 responding to a call.

Doraville police said Wilson was the on-call detective called in from home to go to a home invasion.

"There's not an officer out there that doubts that if they get in that car and leave their home on a call out. They don't doubt that they're in the line of duty," said Gayle Hanson.

"It hurts. This whole thing hurts. (We were) looking for a healing process and that was part of it," J.D. Wilson said.

The Georgia Public Safety Training Center director said in light of new information received this week, the committee will reconsider whether to add Wilson's name, but that would not happen until next year.

The family said that does not leave them with the closure they need now.