In Memory of Lieutenant Dale Sylvester, Jr.
COVID19 has devastated the ranks of law enforcement agencies nationwide. It has become the number one cause of line of duty deaths among American officers. Georgia residents were saddened to hear the news that their state had lost a local police officer. On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, Lieutenant Dale Sylvester, Jr. died due to complications of the virus. Sylvester contracted the virus while on duty working with the Port Wentworth Police Department. Sylvester wore badge number 405 and was 55 years old.
Lt. Sylvester joined the military out of high school. His first work in civil service was for his country. Lt. Sylvester was a US Navy Veteran. After discharge and returning to his home community, he became a certified, sworn police officer. Sylvester served his community as an officer with the Port Wentworth Police Department for more than five years. His most recent assignment was in the Criminal Investigations Division.
Prior to joining the Port Wentworth Police Department, Sylvester worked for the Chatham County Police Department and the district attorney’s office for about 26 years. So total, Sylvester had 31 years in law enforcement. During his time as an officer, he worked patrol, bomb squad, and counter-narcotics.
Port Wentworth Police Department, Georgia
Sylvester worked for the Port Wentworth Police Department in Georgia. This is a small department, and an officer with Sylvester’s experience is truly an irreplaceable loss. However, the agency is accredited, modern, highly-trained and well-equipped. The department works directly with the community to maintain law and order and protect residents from harm.
The jurisdiction covered by the department is approximately 16 square miles. The department works to protect and serve nearly 10,000 residents.
Lieutenant Dale Sylvester, Jr. leaves behind his wife, two children, and grandchildren. The Sylvester family will need the support of their community to heal from this tragedy. Law enforcement from around the area will work to support the families of those officers who have fallen to this terrible pandemic. Honor guards, volunteer officers have been working diligently to help families like the Sylvester’s give great honor to the final service for their loved ones.
Ronald Nichols, a retired Chatham officer, spoke openly about the type of officer Sylvester had been. “He was the type officer you always wanted to be and to work with. He was one of the officers that you always knew was going to be there if something went bad. He was going to be right in the middle of it, and he was going to help you out. It’s been a long battle this year for us. I feel for the family, and I’ve known his wife for many, many, many years. So, it’s going to be a rough one.”
Port Wentworth Chief of Police Matt Libby shared his grief. “He’s going to be sorely missed by everybody. He was a great father, husband, and a hell of a cop.”
Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter posted prayers for the family and the Port Wentworth department. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, and colleagues of Port Wentworth Police Department Lt. Dale Sylvester.”
The Port Wentworth Police Department thanked the community for their support during this time of mourning. “Please keep the Sylvester family, his friends, and co-workers in your thoughts and prayers. The Port Wentworth Police Department is so grateful for the community’s continued outpouring of support during this time of mourning. ‘