AMORY • Thursday was a continuance of a week of mourning for Monroe County, as a deputy who died following an accident while in the line of duty was laid to rest. Dylan Pickle, 24, who served in law enforcement and for the U.S. military, was given a hero’s goodbye.
“One thing I’d like for you to pay attention to today and in the past several days are all of those who came forward to show their respects for Dylan’s service – for the country and for the county,” said Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook, who officiated the funeral service.
Pickle and a second deputy, Zack Wilbanks, 27, were struck by a vehicle Saturday night in Hamilton while at a checkpoint.
He died at 12:01 a.m. Sunday during surgery at North Mississippi Medical Center from head trauma sustained from the accident. Wilbanks, who attended the funeral, continues to recover from head injuries and a broken leg.
Pickle recently began working patrol with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, following years of being a jailer for the agency. He more recently took the initiative to send himself to the Mississippi Delta Community College Law Enforcement Training Academy as part of his lifelong dream to be an officer.
“Many of us have spent time over the past several days second guessing ourselves and questioning if we should have encouraged him to be in law enforcement in the first place. Was he promoted to patrol too soon? Should I have allowed them to set up a checkpoint that night? Should it have been me? Should I have done something different to stop this tragedy? I found peace with those questions in my mind over the past few days through God’s word,” Crook said.
Lt. David Mitchell, who oversees the shift Pickle worked, reflected on his drive and enthusiasm in law enforcement.
“He told me they changed his badge number to M17, which was my badge number before. We were talking on the phone, and he told me, ‘I’m going to make you proud.’ I am so very proud of him. In the time he started to work on my shift, I could tell he had the calling to be a law enforcement officer. He had a servant’s heart and in my mind, that’s the first step of doing this job,” he said.
On Wednesday, Gov. Tate Reeves issued Executive Order 1513 ordering all U.S. flags be flown at half-staff Thursday in Pickle’s memory.
Crook asked for continued prayers and support for the families impacted by the accident.
During the funeral, M17 was called out over the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office radio channel, followed by the message that he has finished his duty on Earth.
“Deputy Pickle, we thank you for your loyalty, dedication and service to the citizens of Monroe County. Monroe 17, you may be gone but not forgotten. Your courage and valor will always be in the hearts of your brothers and sisters. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.”