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A legend lost: Arnold Ray Akins passes at 69
Visitation is 4-8 p.m. Monday; funeral is 11 a.m Tuesday
ArnoldRayAkins Web
Arnold Ray Akins - photo by FRANK FORTUNE/special
       Arnold Ray Akins, a local legend in the law enforcement world and former sheriff of Bulloch County, died Saturday morning after an extended illness at the Tattnall Community Hospital in Reidsville.
       Visitation is Monday from 4-8 p.m. at Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home in Statesboro. Funeral services are Tuesday at 11 a.m., at Statesboro First Baptist Church, with Elder Steve Taylor and Dr. Larry Guido officiating. Burial will follow in Bulloch Memorial Gardens.
       Akins, 70, suffered from complications stemming from a colostomy and other surgeries this summer.
       Akins served as Bulloch County's sheriff for six terms, from 1976 until retiring in 2000. However, his employment with Bulloch County law enforcement spans over 40 years, from becoming a deputy after his graduation from Portal High School in 1957.
       After serving as deputy for several years under former sheriff Paul Neville, Akins was promoted to chief deputy, and served in that capacity eight years before running for sheriff in 1976.
     He was elected, and during the next 24 years was opposed only twice, and never defeated.
       He was well known and respected in the Statesboro and Bulloch County community and inspired many current deputies and officers to choose a career in law enforcement.
      One of those is current Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson, who began his career under the guidance of Akins.
      "I just hate it," he said. " We were so close. He's the reason I am where I am now."
      In 2006 , county leaders honored him with naming the "Arnold R. Akins Public Safety Complex", which includes the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office and Jail, Bulloch County Public Works, Bulloch County Central 911 and the Bulloch County Correctional Institute.
       Akins was involved with several charitable and civic associations throughout the state, and volunteered with local efforts in emergency disaster relief. His actions, along with others, earned a state resolution recognizing their efforts.
       Akins was also the recipient of a 2009 Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Lifetime Achievement Award.
       He is survived by his daughter and son in law, Julianna and Clint Waits of Statesboro; his mother Neva Newton Akins of Statesboro; a sister and brother in law, Elaine and Tommy Lennon of Statesboro and three brothers and sisters in law, Randy and Sandra Akins, Delton and Irene Akins and Herman and Sherri Akins all of Statesboro. Akins also had three grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.'
       Anderson said Akins will be truly missed by many in the community. "He raised a lot of us and taught us how t do our jobs," he said. "He had a good time ( in life) but he had been sick a while."
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