Longtime Vidalia police officer remembered

Published 12:17 am Tuesday, April 11, 2017


VIDALIA — In the more than 30 years that Frank Webb wore a badge, he inspired many others to walk the thin blue line with dedication and a genuine care for the people he served.

The retired Vidalia police officer and decorated Vietnam veteran died Thursday at age 77.

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Webb received multiple commendations for bravery during his time as a police officer and most recently served as a bailiff for the Seventh Judicial District Court.

When Vidalia Police Department Capt. Frankie Carroll joined the department in the 1990s, Webb was the one to show him the ropes.

“He was an inspiration to all the young officers,” Carroll said. “He taught me a lot when I was a rookie.”

Vidalia Police Chief Joey Merrill remembers Webb as a police officer when Merrill was growing up in Vidalia.

“He inspired me a great deal being a law enforcement officer, the way he served his community,” Merrill said.

Though Webb had retired well before Merrill was elected chief in 2016, Merrill hosted a retirement party for Webb.

“He never got one, and I just thought he deserved it,” Merrill said. “He was a great man, and I admired him a whole lot.

“He just had a way with people. He would make you smile every day.”

Webb worked for years as a Vidalia police officer while former Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland served, and two became close friends, Copeland said.

“He was an excellent police officer,” Copeland said. “It was an honor for me to have had the opportunity to serve with him. But more than anything, he was a great friend.”

Copeland and his wife, Sandra, and Webb and his wife, Pam, took trips in motorhomes with friends to Tennessee, Texas and other places.

“They became great friends of ours, and he will be sorely missed,” Copeland said.

Webb had a personality, Copeland said, that was magnetic and made him a well-liked character in Vidalia.

“He loved everybody, and everybody loved him,” Copeland said. “He was a people person.”

Webb’s wife, Pam, said her husband could always be counted on to be the life of any party.

“He was the center of attention, and he loved it,” she said. “He cared about everybody and just loved talking to everybody and telling all his stories.”

Funeral services for Webb will be at 11 a.m. today at Young’s Funeral Home in Vidalia. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until service time.