Macon business owner creates fundraiser to honor fallen heroes

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb firefighters are not allowed to wear stickers on their helmets or trucks that represent one of their brothers who died in the line of duty. Officials say it violates the department’s uniform policy.

“Ugly Signs” on Riverside Drive in Macon makes the stickers. It is a way for the business owner, Dustin Dugger, to give back to those who protect us. While Lieutenant Randy Parker has his own custom sticker, he isn’t the person who inspired the idea. Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Norris was the first to have a custom sticker created.

Click, design, print. That’s the system Dugger uses to create his one of a kind signs.

“We have been very blessed to be where we’re at in business,” explained Dugger.

If you look closely at the front door, you’ll notice two unique stickers.

“We found an opportunity to do a fundraiser for these two families,” said Dugger.

Deputy Norris died in September after he was shot while responding to a suicide call.

“We had some of the Monroe County deputies come to us wanting ‘In Memory Of’ decals,” recalled Dugger.

Dugger gave the deputies free stickers and sold others to raise money for the Norris Family.

“We donated 100% of the proceeds to the family. No material costs, no labor costs,” explained Dugger.

The fundraiser was so successful, Dugger decided to do it again for Lt. Randy Parker, a Macon-Bibb firefighter who lost his life during a house fire in February. The sticker is custom made. It has the Macon-Bibb Fire Department’s badge and Lt. Parker’s badge number.

“We have raised a little over $3,000 dollars for the Norris family and in this particular case we’re about $3,500 for the Parker family,” said Dugger.

Even though Macon-Bibb firefighters were told they can’t wear the stickers on their helmets because it’s against uniform policy, Dugger will still give the stickers to any Macon-Bibb firefighter for free.

“I think all of these people need to open their eyes. The first responders that are all volunteer units, we cannot function on a daily basis without any of these men and women doing their job,” said Dugger.

The decals come in two different sizes. The smaller ones will be given to any Macon-Bibb firefighter for free. Anyone else can buy either size for $5 at the store.

Last week, a Macon-Bibb firefighter posted on Facebook that they aren’t allowed to put the stickers on their helmets. According to the fire department’s policy, only firefighter’s names, initials, and rank are allowed on their helmets. Any other lettering, designs or paraphernalia are prohibited.

Macon-Bibb Fire Chief Marvin Riggins said he’s aware of the issue. He wants to try to find an immediate solution that will honor all fallen firefighters, but still complies with the policy.

A spokesperson for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says all deputies who worked at the Sheriff’s Office during the fatal shooting wear a ribbon bar over their right breast pocket to honor Deputy Norris. It has Deputy Norris’ badger number and two small crosses.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News, Monroe County

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