Former Dade County Sheriff Philip Street has died a week after getting a COVID-19 diagnosis. He got the diagnosis last Friday and went into the hospital on Sunday. He was 66.
He served from 1984-2004 as sheriff.
Currently he was the jail administrator for the Walker County Sheriff's Office after serving as a Walker County Sheriff's captain for seven years.
Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said he was "saddened and grief-stricken" by the sudden death.
He said, "I am saddened and grief stricken today as I announce the passing of my friend, Philip Street, (Ret.) Dade County, Georgia Sheriff and current Walker County Sheriff’s Office Captain of the Detention Facility.
"Our friendship spanned thirty-five years, dating to the time as parents we met in lamaze classes at East Ridge, TN hospital. (Can you imagine Philip saying and blowing he, he, he, whew?) Our daughters were born a month apart and became good friends at an early age.
"Throughout our law enforcement careers, Philip has always been there. As a board member of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, as a fellow Sheriff and for the last seven years, as a supervisor and Captain of the Jail.
"There are numerous Philip Street stories to tell that I will keep close to me. However, one thing is for certain...if you were Philip’s friend, you knew it, no questions asked. Philip cared for his co-workers, especially the younger officers that he mentored. We will miss his counsel and work ethic. Philip loved his wife, his daughter, sisters, brother and his mother. Philip loved Dade County.
"What last words would Philip leave us with? Wear your mask, wash your hands and social distance. I’ll see you again, my friend, my brother in blue."
He had been one of the partners of the former Street Hardware where he was in business with his parents (Donald and Elizabeth Street of Wildwood) and other family members from 1974 until his election as sheriff in 1984. During those years he was a volunteer fireman at Trenton.
He said this was the beginning of his interest in law enforcement. He served as sheriff for longer than any other sheriff of Dade County. His career began when his department closed a massage parlor in Wildwood (which he said "was offering more than massages") and the work continued throughout the 20 years with multi-state and government agency efforts to combat criminals.
One which received nationwide recognition for its success was known across the South and west as “Operation Sand Storm” and netted the arrests and convictions of many drug and smuggling traffickers from Texas to Georgia. The current 911 emergency system was an outgrowth of his office.
After leaving the Dade County Sheriff's Office, he was employed in several law enforcement or emergency services related positions. Among them were Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force as an investigator; GT Distributors, one of the country’s largest law enforcement equipment suppliers, where he served as the general manager for five years, Transform Health Inmate Medical Company where he worked with county and city governments to acquire cost effective, on-site medical care for prisoners; from May 9 through September of last year. He worked for Dade County Government as project manager for debris removal to clean up roadways and communities after the tornadoes. He later was employed by DTS Disaster Recovery, Inc., as a senior project manager. He spent two months in Connecticut on the fall snowstorm debris removal project.
He was married to Sherry Lake Street and they made their home at Slygo. He has one daughter, Jordan, and a stepson, Corey Cresswell.