The funeral for a 16-year veteran of the Decatur Police Department will be at 3 p.m. today in Athens.

Officer Jeff Bailey died Friday morning from complications of metastatic melanoma, the department said. He was 50.

“Today, we lost the best of us,” said Decatur police chief Nate Allen on Friday. “Officer Bailey was the embodiment of all things officers should strive to be — kind, patient, empathetic, and dedicated. May we always be reminded to be a little kinder, to smile a little more, and to extend a helping hand to our neighbor — that’s exactly what Jeff would have wanted.”

Bailey was an avid motorcyclist who could often be found on his traffic unit Harley Davidson helping to keep the streets of Decatur safe. The department described Bailey as “a kind soul” who was happiest when interacting with children who were fascinated with his bike.

Bailey joined the Decatur Police Department in April of 2003 and served as a traffic and motorcycle officer since 2006.

Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. at Limestone Chapel Funeral Home. Visitation will be from noon to 2:45 p.m. The burial will be in Roselawn Cemetery in Athens.

mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.

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