SYLACAUGA, Ala. – On Monday, flags across the country were lowered to half staff for National Peace Officers Memorial Day. The day, designated by former President John F. Kennedy in 1962, begins National Police Week.
The recognition is simple: to remember and honor those that lost their lives in the line of duty protecting others.
In Sylacauga, only two men, Chief Sanford Perryman and Officer Rex Sanford, lost their lives.
Chief Perryman succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained in the line of duty the previous day, when the Chief intercepted a local pool hall owner getting off the afternoon train with a suitcase of illegal whiskey. Both were shot in the gun battle and later died of their wounds. Perryman served with the agency for four years and was survived by his wife. He died on May 1, 1914.
Officer Rex Sanford was shot and killed on Sept. 18, 1952 as he, along with his partner, attempted to take two men to the police station for questioning after the two officers saw one of the suspects throw a pistol from their car. The incident happened in a drive-in parking lot around 4:00 a.m. Sanford’s partner returned fire striking the gunman three times as he fled the scene. He was arrested two hours later in Montgomery. The suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Jan. 16, 1953. He was paroled August 18, 1963. Sanford only served one year with the agency. He was survived by his wife and son.
“Sylacauga, like other communities, is not immune to violence against law enforcement,” said Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall. “Chief Sanford Perryman, and Officer Rex Sanford, who were both murdered in Sylacauga will always be remembered, and their service cherished by the Sylacauga community. As Attorney General, I stand with Sylacauga today as we pause and remember the sacrifices of these two fine officers, and officers all over Alabama.”
Michael Brannon for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.