HILLSVILLE

A national organization with a powerful message visited Carroll County last week to pay respects to friends and family members of the late Cpl. Charles Wayne Catron of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.

Founded in 2019, Beyond the Call of Duty is dedicated to raising awareness about law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. The organization is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Spokane Valley, Wash.

Each year, the group hosts its annual End of Watch Rider to Remember, a journey of more than 20,000 miles across America to gather support while honoring the men and women of law enforcement for their service. All proceeds raised during the tour goes towards supporting families of fallen law enforcement officers.

As part of this year’s ride, the convoy stopped in Hillsville on July 18 to meet with Carroll County Sheriff Kevin Kemp and other officers who served alongside Catron during his time in law enforcement. Also joining were area division members from the Virginia State Police.

Catron began his law enforcement career as a deputy with the sheriff’s office in 2008 and served his community in the Patrol Division, Court Division and Civil Division. Cpl. Catron’s end of watch was Sept. 31, 2021, after a near month-long battle with COVID-19. He served with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years. He is survived by his daughter, two grandchildren and mother; as well as many law enforcement brothers and sisters and friends in the community.

During the July 18 observance, Catron’s mother, Beverly; daughter, Aleena Bedsaul; and son-in-law, Austin, along with their children Mahalee and Carter; were greeted with condolences from both members of Beyond the Call of Duty, and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.

The End Of Watch Ride to Remember features a motorcycle escort of the group’s memorial trailer, featuring photos of all law enforcement officers who were lost in the line of duty the previous year. The group stood by to provide comfort and support while Catron’s family and the sheriff’s office each took several moments to honor and remember Catron. Each in attendance signed a mural of badges from law enforcement agencies who endured similar losses. Pastor Jeff Pickett of the Hillsville Pentecostal Holiness Church also officiated with a moment of prayer during the gathering.

According to Beyond the Call of Duty, “Beginning in early 2020, due to the requirements of their job, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the United States contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic. Hundreds of law enforcement officers died from medical complications as a result of contracting the virus while remaining on duty and interacting with the community.”

The group says its main purpose is to “ensure that no officer is forgotten, that their families know their loved one has not been forgotten; and that there is recognition, support and understanding to help them heal.” In addition, they support department safety and training to help lower the number of fallen officers each year.

For more information about how to support the organization by becoming a sponsor or volunteer, or by joining the ride, visit endofwatchride.com, call 509-342-9546, or email info@eowride.org. An event schedule can also be found online or by visiting the group’s Facebook page at Beyond the Call of Duty.