The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department joined law enforcement agencies across the nation in celebrating National Police Week from May 12 through May 18.
May 15 was National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week containing May 15 has been National Police Week since President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726 on Oct. 1, 1962. It was not until May 15, 1982, that the first National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day service was held.
Activities during National Police Week now include the annual Candlelight Vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial in Washington, D.C. The National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day Service on May 15 draws thousands from across the nation.
The Sheriff’s Department has lost seven officers in the line of duty. Six were killed by gunfire, and one died in an automobile accident.
- Deputy Sheriff Robert Harmon—shot to death on Feb. 7, 1904;
- Sheriff Cleve Daugherty—shot to death on July 19, 1933;
- Deputy Sheriff Lee McGhee—shot to death on Jan. 9, 1934;
- Deputy Sheriff Reuben Fox—shot to death on Aug. 20, 1943;
- Deputy Sheriff Willie West—shot to death on Oct. 23, 1954;
- Deputy Sheriff William Scott—died in car crash on Jan. 21, 1980; and
- Reserve Deputy Ray Brown—shot to death on June 9, 1981.
A memorial service sponsored by Chief James Akagi and the Oak Ridge Police Department was held at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, on the plaza in front of the Oak Ridge Municipal Building. Local, state, and federal agencies from the Anderson County area were represented.