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

DPD To Dedicate Memorial Site On Peace Officers’ Memorial Day

Friday, May 09, 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.  



There Will Be Several Lane Closures This Week

Fort Street between West 13 th  Street and Main Street and West 14 th  Street between Carter Street and Chestnut Street will be closed from  3 p.m.  on  Wednesday, u ntil  3 p.m. on Sunday , for the Coker Tire Challenge.   West 13 th  Street between Fort Street and Chestnut Street and the right northbound lane of Carter Street ... (click for more)

Scenic City Camaro Club Raises Money For Children's Hospital

The Scenic City Camaro Club, Inc. will raise money through pledges per mile and donations for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (Children's Hospital Foundation) and Erlanger Health System Foundations (Erlanger Center for Lung Health in memory of Tammy Hey). They will meet at  Mountain View Chevrolet  in Chattanooga this   Saturday, at 7 a.m.(ET)   ... (click for more)

City Receives $400,000 Federal Grant To Study Passenger Train Service

The United States Department of Transportation has announced Chattanooga has received a $400,000 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to study the potential use of existing railways for a passenger rail system in Chattanooga. There were 72 awards announced in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Out of numerous grant applications across Tennessee, ... (click for more)

Former Assistant Police Chief Eidson Not Charged In Shooting Of Stepson On Englewood Avenue

Former Chattanooga Police Department Assistant Chief Kirk Eidson was not charged in the shooting of stepson Robert Ingle, 18, on Sunday morning in North Chattanooga. However, Ingle was charged with domestic assault and vandalism. In the incident shortly after 9 a.m. at 1049 Englewood Ave., Mr. Eidson said Ingle came to the house asking him to take him to their other house ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)