ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. - A Rockdale County father received a special surprise Friday in honor of his late son.
Terry Mahaffey's son, Rockdale County Sheriff Deputy Brian Mahaffey, was killed in the line of duty in 2010. Since his death, the community has honored him by naming a road after him, as well as holding an annual motorcycle race in his memory. But Friday, the Rockdale County Tax Commissioner's Office gave Terry Mahaffey a special license plate that included his son's badge number with the designation "Dad."
Deputy Mahaffey's mother, brother and sister each have the special plates: 2330MOM, 2330BRO and 2330SIS. But Terry Mahaffey told FOX 5 he had difficulty getting one with "Dad" on it.
His family reached out to Tax Commissioner R.J. Hadley for help. Hadley spoke with state officials and was able to secure the plate after two months.
Mahaffey was overcome with emotion after Hadley and the Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett surprised him with the plate.
"I just can't express what this really means to me," Mahaffey said.
He added that, with the gift coming close to Christmas, it holds bittersweet significance.
"This is the time of year when you're with family and close...and to not have him here is the bitter part," Mahaffey said. "But the sweet part is to be able to know there are so many people who care."
Mahaffey, 28, left behind a wife and two small children.