Ex-colleagues remember Ga. contractor killed in Afghanistan - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Ex-colleagues remember Ga. contractor killed in Afghanistan

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NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -

Former colleagues are remembering a Georgia contractor killed in Afghanistan.   Joseph Griffin, a former Newton County Sheriff's deputy, was working for a contractor, training police officers in Afghanistan, when a policewoman shot him.

Lt. Tyrone Oliver of the Newton County Sheriff's Office said he met Griffin in 1999 and came to admire him.

"He often talked about his family, he loved his wife dearly," said Oliver.

Griffin, 49, actually served in the department two different times for a few years in the late 90s and a few months in 2007.

"Joe was a mentor on the shift, he loved his job a lot. He would always go above and beyond to help others," Oliver said.

Both times that he left the department, he went to do something else he loved: training new police officers in other countries, often times, dangerous countries like Afghanistan.

"He loved traveling; he loved doing that kind of work. And that's what he was doing when his life was taken -- he was doing what he loved," Oliver said

According to Griffin's employer, DynCorp International, a NATO contractor, he was training and mentoring members of the Afghan National Police when on Christmas Eve, investigators say a policewoman shot him dead in Kabul. It's the first so-called, "insider killing" of a training contractor to be carried out by a woman. DynCorp International called the murder tragic and unfair.

"I got his resignation letter here. And one of the things he said when he left was ‘The Newton County Sheriff's Office has always had a special place in my heart and always will.'  And likewise. He holds a special place in our hearts here, for those who knew him and those who worked alongside him," Oliver said.

The sheriff's office is helping Griffin's family get Joe's  body back here to Georgia and set up funeral arrangements.

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