Albany, Georgia – Peace Officers Memorial Day is held annually in the United States on May 15 in honor of federal, state, and local officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. It is observed in conjunction with Police Week. Fallen officers from the Albany SW GA Regional Airport Police Department, Albany Police Department, Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office, Dougherty County Police Department, and the United States Marine Corps will be honored in a special ceremony at Albany Technical College. Make plans to attend on May 16, 2022, at 1 p.m. in the Kirkland Conference Center. A special proclamation will be presented by Albany Mayor Bo Dorough and Dougherty County Commission Chairman Christopher Cohilas.
The guest speaker for the event will be Chief Judge Willie Lockette, chief Judge of the Dougherty Circuit of Georgia. Judge Lockette was born in Tuner County, GA, and graduated valedictorian from A. S. Clarke High School in Cordele, GA. He earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science summa cum laude from Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, GA. and a Juris Doctor Degree with high honors from the University of Illinois, College of Law, Champaign, IL. He has earned additional professional credentials from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Emory University College of Law, Atlanta, GA, and the National Judicial College, University of Nevada, Reno, NV.
Lockette is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and licensed to practice law in all Georgia trial courts, the Supreme Court of Georgia, Georgia Court of Appeals, the United States District Courts for the Middle and Northern Districts, and the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits.
Lockette practiced law as Staff Attorney and Managing Attorney of the Albany Regional Office of Georgia Legal Services Programs, Inc. He served as part-time Judge of the Magistrate Court of Dougherty County, GA, before being appointed Chief Judge of that Court and Judge of the State Court of Dougherty County (by designation).
In 1996, Dougherty County elected Lockette Judge of the Superior Court of Dougherty County and re-elected him for consecutive 4-year terms without opposition. Lockette became Chief Judge of the Superior Court of Dougherty County in 2009. Lockette is a licensed and ordained Baptist Minister and is the Pastor of the Greater Pines Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Albany, GA. Lockette has received numerous social, civic, and religious awards and honors.