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Fallen officer to be honored at D.C. memorial

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

Shawn Newlin's name is going to be officially added to the list of those who have fallen while enforcing the law.

The 25-year-old Clayton County Police Officer, who died in March 2007 after a motorcycle accident, will have his name inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall in Washington D.C., during a ceremony this May.

"It's an honor to be placed on the wall," Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner said. "This is something that the citizens of Clayton County should be proud of.

"It's tragic that he died and it's tragic that his name even had to be considered for this wall, but at least this, in some small way, recognizes the contribution that he gave to the Clayton County Police Department and the citizens of Clayton County."

Newlin had served with the police department for eight months and six days, before he died. As a patrolman on the morning shift, he made 95 arrests and earned a reputation as a "good, proactive, hard-charging police officer," according to Deputy Chief Tim Robinson.

Newlin reportedly decided that he wanted to be a police officer when he was 8, and spent his high school years in the Reserve Officer Training Corps and working as a volunteer dispatcher for the Conyers Police Department.

A little more than a year ago, Newlin was working his second job, as a motorcycle escort for funeral processions, when he crashed his black-and-chrome Honda into the back of a black, Chevy Cavalier as the car changed lanes in front of him.

Newlin was thrown more than 100 feet. He was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital, and remained in a coma for four days. He died there on March 4. He was survived by his wife, Laura, his 2-year-old daughter, Abigail, his parents, Nathaniel and Patricia Newlin, and his sister, Michelle Mitchell.

Newlin will be honored during National Police Week, from May 12 to 17, in Washington D.C.

His name will join the names of 18,299 fallen officers honored in the memorial. His name will also join the names of the Clayton County Police Department's two other fallen officers: Officer Fred Parker, who died in an accident during a car chase in 1959, and Sgt. Michael Davis, who died during an accident in 2005.

The Clayton County Police Department has started a fund to pay the family's way to Washington D.C., for the services there.

Contributions can be made to the Officer Newlin Support Fund at FirstBank. Deposits can be mailed to FirstBank Financial Services at 6147 Jonesboro Road, Morrow Ga., 30260, or made in person at any of the bank's Clayton and Henry County locations.