Like hundreds of other children at North Forsyth Middle School in 1997, Levi Frady would have placed his right hand over his heart and said the Pledge of Allegiance each weekday morning, according to an official at the Forsyth Board of Education.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
It was after school on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 1997, when Frady, 11, was allegedly abducted while riding his bicycle near his Burruss Mill Road home in Forsyth County, Ga. His body was found the following day by deer hunters in the Dawson Forest Wildlife area, approximately 19 miles — and one county away — from his home. He had been shot three times, according to news reports.
When Levi Frady spoke the Pledge of Allegiance that crisp October morning, he could not have known the justice he sought would be his own.
Officers take Oath of Honor
Similar to the pledge that Forsyth school children recite, law enforcement officers in Georgia recite an Oath of Honor when putting on a badge:
Additionally, The Forsyth County Sheriff’s office has its Mission Statement posted on a piece of paper nailed to a dull blank wall in its lobby: To serve and protect through dedication, professionalism, active cooperation with the community, and respect for human dignity.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Mission Statement
“To protect and serve the citizens of Georgia by delivering quality criminal investigative services through utilizing a well trained work force, incorporating cutting edge technology, teamwork and effective planning,” according to its website.
“To provide a safer Georgia through innovative investigative services to the public and the criminal justice community.
“The Investigative Division, under the direction of the Deputy Director (Russell E. Andrews) for Investigations, is the largest division of the GBI, with employees working in Regional Offices, Regional Drug Enforcement Offices and other work units. Special agents from the Investigative Division respond to requests for assistance from local law enforcement officials to investigate major crimes such as: homicide, rape, child abuse, armed robbery, fraud and other felonies. Drug investigations, identity theft investigations, and crimes against children investigations can be initiated without request.
Powers and Duties
Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents are authorized under the laws of the State of Georgia to conduct criminal investigations, make arrests, execute search warrants, seize property which is contraband, carry firearms, and detect or apprehend persons (in Georgia) violating the criminal laws of this state, any other state, or the United States.”
On Jan. 18, 2011, Gov. Nathan Deal re-appointed Vernon M. Keenan as director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
As GBI Director, Vernon Keenan is the leader of a state criminal investigative agency with over 770 employees and a FY16 budget of $89.3 million. The GBI is comprised of three divisions: the State Crime Laboratory, the Georgia Crime Information Center and the Investigative Division, according to the GBI website.
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