Late DPD Officer Added To Memorial In Washington, D.C.

DPD To Dedicate Memorial Site On Peace Officers’ Memorial Day

Friday, May 9, 2014
A portrait of the late Officer Maurice Phillips being displayed at last year’s Peace Officers’ Memorial Day observance in Dalton.  His name will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial in Washington, D.C. next week.
A portrait of the late Officer Maurice Phillips being displayed at last year’s Peace Officers’ Memorial Day observance in Dalton. His name will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial in Washington, D.C. next week.

The name of the late Officer Maurice William Phillips, Sr. will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial in Washington, D.C.  Officer Phillips was accidentally shot while on duty with the Dalton Police Department and passed away on Dec. 25, 1956.

The name will be formally added to the national memorial during the 26th Annual Candlelight Vigil at the memorial on the evening of May 13.  Members of the Dalton Police Department’s Honor Guard will participate in the ceremony which was also be attended by Tom Phillips, one of Officer Phillips’ sons. 

"We’re just really honored to see this come about and be representing dad next week in Washington DC,” said Mr. Phillips, who was just 18 months old when his father died. “My mom told me that dad loved being a police officer… it was a passion. It was everything he lived and breathed.”

Officer Phillips was training a fellow officer on some “quick draw” techniques at the police headquarters in Dalton’s old city hall building on Dec. 22, 1956.  The officers were practicing with unloaded weapons. When the other officers stepped out of the room, Officer Phillips reloaded both weapons.  When the officer returned, he again tried the “quick draw” not realizing that his gun was now loaded.  He fired, hitting Officer Phillips in the chest.  Officer Phillips succumbed to his injuries on Dec. 25.

Officer Phillips’ wife Marie Gentry Phillips will watch next week’s ceremony via a video feed in Dalton with other members of her family.    

The Dalton Police Department will also make good on a century-old promise next week when it dedicates a memorial site to the memory of a former police chief and also fallen law enforcement officers everywhere. The memorial site will be dedicated on May 15 as part of the department’s observation of National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day.

The department will memorialize the late Chief William “Bill” Hanna who was killed by a gunman on Sept. 20, 1899.  Chief Hanna was shot and killed by 18-year-old Will Jones.  News accounts of the slaying differ, but most agree that Chief Hanna went to Mount Rachel after complaints of Jones causing a disturbance by firing his rifle into the air while drunk.  Chief Hanna confronted Jones, who pointed his shotgun at Chief Hanna.  Chief Hanna reportedly said that Jones would not shoot him, at which time Jones shot him in the head.  Chief Hanna died two hours later.  Jones fled but was captured 26 years later in Texas and returned to Dalton to face trial.  News accounts of that trial and its resulting verdict have been lost. 

In October 1899, the Dalton City Council resolved to mark Chief Hannah’s grave with “a suitable monument commemorative of his untimely end.”  That resolution was never carried out, and over the years the location of Chief Hannah’s unmarked grave has been lost.  In recent years, efforts to determine the location of Chief Hannah’s grave have been unsuccessful.  Instead, the Dalton Police Department will place the Chief William Hannah Police Memorial on a plaza site on the Police Services Center grounds near the intersection of Waugh Street and Jones Street.  The memorial has not yet been constructed, but the site will be dedicated as part of a ceremony observing Peace Officers’ Memorial Day on Thursday at 10 a.m. 

"Chief Hannah paid the ultimate price of service, and it will be good to go the last mile and finish what we started over one hundred years ago," said Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker. "Although the original idea in 1899 was to place a marker at Chief Hannah's grave, locating it here will be a more prominent location and will serve as a visible reminder of his service. This site will commemorate his service, but will also serve as a focal point for future police memorial observances." 

The observation of National Police Week began in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy declared May 15 to be National Peace Officers' Memorial Day, and the week in which it falls to be a week honoring police officers.  This year, National Police Week is Sunday, May 11, through Saturday, May 17.  




East Hamilton County Community Meeting To Be Held Thursday

Commissioner Sabrena Smedley and Councilman Darrin Ledford will host the East Hamilton County Community Meeting this Thursday at 6 p.m. at Morris Hill Baptist Church, 1804 Morris Hill Road.   Guests will include: Dr. Bryan Johnson, Hamilton County Schools superintendent; Jim Hammond, Hamilton County sheriff; Bill Hullander, Hamilton County trustee; John Bridger, RPA; and ... (click for more)

France Honors World War II Veterans From Georgia And Tennessee

As an expression of France’s eternal gratitude to those who liberated it from oppression from 1944-45, the Consul General of France in Atlanta, Louis de Corail, honored seven American World War II Veterans from Georgia and Tennessee with the French Legion of Honor during a ceremony at the capitol on Monday. The National Order of the Legion of Honor is the highest military ... (click for more)

Woman Has Unknown Liquid Thrown In Her Face At CARTA; 15 Fire Companies Respond

A woman had an "unknown liquid" thrown in her face at CARTA at Wilcox Boulevard and Holtzclaw Avenue on Tuesday morning, fire officials said. The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to the call to assist Hamilton County EMS personnel who were on the scene.  EMS advised that there was a female with burns to her face and she was transported to a local hospital.  ... (click for more)

Opportunity Zone Begins Effort To Transform 12 Low-Performing County Schools

The Hamilton County Department of Education announced the new Opportunity Zone team that officials said "will ensure every student is post-secondary ready." The schools in this zone are: Brainerd High, The Howard School, East Lake Middle Academy, Dalewood Middle, Orchard Knob Middle, Barger Academy of Fine Arts, Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, Clifton Hills ... (click for more)

Titans Hide In The Locker Room

This Sunday, as has been widely reported, the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks both chose to remain in their respective locker rooms during the playing of the National Anthem at Nissan Stadium.  Besides the fact that the NFL game operations manual has a rule regarding player behavior during the playing of the National Anthem which requires them to stand at attention ... (click for more)

Roy Exum - Why Al Took A Stand

“Help me, sir!” 18-year-old Jesse Dietrich cried to his lieutenant. “Please sir, I need help …” the Private First Class begged as blood streamed from where the kid had been shot in the chest during an intense Taliban ambush. The platoon leader had just dragged the 18-year-old by his backpack down a dark alley in withering gunfire, all the while returning fire over the fallen soldier ... (click for more)