Hamilton Co. Sheriff’s Office replaces headstone

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has replaced the gravestone of one of their fallen officers.

Deputy Charles Garfield was killed by a drunk driver in 1961 and was buried in a Chattanooga cemetery.

Georgia resident, Hal McAlister, was visiting a family grave when he took special interest in Garfield’s neighboring headstone.

“There was a young man who died in the early 60s and he had a badge on his grave so I assumed he was a police officer. Every time we would come back up to pay my respects to my mother-in-law, I would do that also with Deputy Garfield,” said McAlister.

McAlister noticed on one visit the badge had gone missing and decided that it needed to be replaced.

He reached out to the HCSO and put a note on Facebook detailing what he saw.

Now through the joint efforts of the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office, the White Oak Cemetery, and the Chattanooga Funeral Home, Deputy Garfield’s grave is decorated once again.

Sheriff Jim Hammond thought honoring the fallen deputy was important for several reasons.

“Its important to me to remember history and cemetery are a great plethora of history. So when this call came in, I though we need to jump up and move on this. It was a privilege for me both as a history nut and as a police officer to know we could honor this young man,” said the Sheriff.

Members of the Sheriffs Office and of the community were present today for the unveiling of the new headstone and for a moment of remembrance for the fallen deputy.

Garfield’s adopted sister, Reba Wagner, was not present for the ceremony. But other family members have now been connected thanks to McAlister’s post on social media.

Garfield has no living relatives other than his adopted sister.

Categories: Featured, Hamilton County

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