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.  



Celebration Of Human Rights Day Is Dec. 10

The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10, 1948. It represents the universal recognition that basic rights and fundamental freedoms are inherent to all human beings, inalienable and equally applicable to everyone, and that every one of us is born free and equal in dignity and rights. The community is invited to come to the Eastdale Village ... (click for more)

Chattanooga International Human Rights Day 2016 Commemoration To Be Held Dec. 10

The Chattanooga Human Rights Day Committee, in conjunction with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, will host the Chattanooga International Human Rights Day 2016 Commemoration, on  Saturday, Dec. 10, at 10 a.m. , at the Eastdale Village UMC Church. For more details, call  423 320-8598 . (click for more)

East Ridge Meth Dealer Gets 168 Months In Federal Prison

A man who agents said was dealing large quantities of meth from his East Ridge residence has been sentenced to serve 168 months in federal prison. Kenneth Lemons appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Agents said they made several controlled drug buys from Lemons at his residence in 2015. On Oct. 27, 2015, he drove up to a residence where DEA agents were making a controlled ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man With 5 Violent Felonies Gets 30 Years In Prison

A Chattanooga man with five violent felonies on his record has been sentenced to serve 30 years in prison. Demetrius Joiner, 30, was given a 20-year sentence by Judge Curtis Collier after he was ruled to be an Armed Career Criminal. Judge Collier said the term would be consecutive to several state sentences imposed earlier on Joiner, including 10 years for aggravated robbery. ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Among The Worst In U.S.

Bobby Bragan, who was the first manager of Major League Baseball’s Braves when they moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta, had a great view on statistics: “Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you should be perfectly comfortable.” I am about to make you uncomfortable with some lousy statistics. Earlier this ... (click for more)