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Bull Durham honored by hundreds of fellow lawmen, firefighters

John Thompson • Aug 7, 2018 at 8:41 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Lt. Brian “Bull” Durham, 41, of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department was a dedicated public official as well as friendly and popular person who easily made friends.

That was reflected on Tuesday morning as a long procession of cruisers from law enforcement agencies around the region, followed by several fire engines, and then by a long formation of motorcycles, many transporting large American flags, participated in trip from Elizabethton to Sullivan County for the graveside service of the deputy who died last week.

The law enforcement representation was a tribute to Durham’s 14-year career with the sheriff’s department, a career which saw him rise to the rank of lieutenant and to his current role as shift commander.

The fire department vehicles were from many volunteer fire departments in Carter and Sullivan counties. Their presence reflected that in addition to Durham’s public service as a law enforcement officer, he also served as a volunteer fire fighter with the Sullivan East Volunteer Fire Department.

Also in reflection to his service as a volunteer firefighter, Durham’s body was transported on a fire truck. His family followed behind in the patrol car assigned to him as shift commander. The vehicle was driven by his shift sergeant, David Caldwell.

Members of his shift were completing a mission on Tuesday that began last Thursday when Sheriff Dexter Lunceford designated the shift as an honor guard to escort Durham’s body back from Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Durham was also a member of a law enforcement officer’s motorcycle club, which was reflected in the large number of motorcycles in the procession.

The procession began in downtown Elizabethton, where Durham’s funeral was held. It left downtown on East Elk Avenue and turned left onto U.S. Highway 19E and proceeded north to Bluff City to the cemetery where he was buried.

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