In Memory of Detective Sergeant Derek E. Sidwell
The pandemic has taken a tremendous toll on the law enforcement community. Since the beginning, the virus has taken the lives of hundreds of law enforcement officers. Their occupation puts them at a greater risk as they work in close contact with the community. On Friday, September 3, 2021, the Overton County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee faced the tragic news of losing one of their own. Detective Sergeant Derek E. Sidwell, badge number 122, died due to complications from contracting the coronavirus. He was 42 years old.
Sidwell was a community leader and had spent his entire career in law enforcement. He had served with the Overton County Sheriff’s Office for more than 14 years. Many of the residents and friends called the Detective “Sid.” A well-loved and respected member of the Overton County Sheriff’s Office, he was also known to volunteer to help surrounding counties whenever needed. He was also a family man and an endearing friend to all. He continued his education as an officer, and just in November 2020, Sidwell earned his degree from the National Forensic Academy.
Overton County Sheriff’s Office
Located in the county seat of Livingston, the Overton County Sheriff’s Office is the primary law enforcement agency for all of Overton County. Sparsely populated, the county of 435 square miles holds a population of about 23,000 residents.
The OCSO manages the county jail, provides security for courts and court service. They patrol and protect all of the residents in the area. OCSO is an accredited law enforcement agency with a small staff that works together like a close-knit family. The loss of one of their family members has devastated the department. The community has been showing support to the agency as well as the Sidwell family.
Detective Sergeant Derek E. Sidwell leaves behind his wife, two children, and one grandchild. As the community shares their grief and gratitude, they will also show support to the Sidwell family. Many children have lost adult role models and family members; they face a challenging future. To truly overcome this virus, communities will have to remember all those who will face many struggles in the years to come and offer them additional support.
The Livingston Police Department shared their condolences for Overton County. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Derek (Sid) Sidwell and our brothers and sisters at Overton County Sheriff’s Department.”
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office shared their memories of Detective Sidwell and his passing with their residents. “Clay County Sheriff Brandon Boone and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office family wish to extend our deepest condolences on the passing of our brother law enforcement officer, Detective Derek Sidwell. Sincerely, we pray for all of Derek’s family as well as his Overton County Sheriff’s Office family. Without exception, Derek was one of the finest law enforcement officers in Upper Cumberland. It was a distinct honor to serve at Derek’s side. We shall truly and deeply miss our brother in blue. God bless you, Derek. Thank you for always being there for us.”
Retired Chief Steven Marshall of George Mills shared his sympathies online. “A police officer should be remembered not by how he died but how he lived! A great man has gone to secure a safe path for the rest of us to follow. Thank you to you, your family, and the Overton County Sheriff’s Office. Our country is a little less safe without you. Rest in Peace, Brother!”