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Swafford named states top deputy coroner
6 Swafford deputy coroner
Swafford - photo by For the Dawson Community News

Lanier Swafford was recently named the state's top deputy coroner by the Georgia Coroner's Association.

Swafford received the Harry Pippin Award which recognizes the deputy coroner of the year during the association's annual conference held Sept. 12 and 13 in Macon.

Dawson County Coroner Ted Bearden nominated him for the prestigious award.

Selecting Swafford was based on his 18 years of work with the coroner's office but also the many other duties he performs within the county and the state.

In addition to serving as president of the Georgia Firefighter's Association, Swafford is chief of Dawson County Emergency Services.

"Dawson County has the two best deputy coroner's in the state in Lanier [Swafford] and Billy Thurmond. Either of them is deserving of such an honor and I am proud to have them on Dawson County's team. It makes you proud to have one of your deputies selected," Bearden said.

Considered the highest award a deputy coroner can receive in Georgia, the Harry Pippin Award recognizes a deputy coroner.

Swafford said he was honored to receive the award.

"I feel undeserving to be singled out as the Dawson County Coroner's Office is a team effort. I appreciate the opportunity former coroner W.O. ‘Bill' Burnham gave me when he deputized me 18 years ago, and since that time I have tried to serve the public, many times on the darkest days of their life."

With more than 300 deputy coroners in the state, only a select few attain the achievement.

Also at the conference, Bearden was elected to the association's board of directors.

Bearden has served on the board in the past and served as president of the association in 2008.