The cabinet stands silent in the corner of Headland City Hall. But it holds items that speak loud and clear as to the importance of Investigator Dexter Hammond to the Headland Police Department, and the void his passing leaves.
Hammond died of a gunshot wound April 24 while answering a call, the first officer in the city’s history to do so. Since then, his friends and fellow Headland officers have been working hard to keep his memory alive, last week dedicating a memorial containing certificates, medals, a plaque, bracelets, a “Fallen Hero” American flag, and a Gold Bond powder bottle.
“Today is a special day for us,” Headland Police Chief Mark Jones said, calling the memorial “not a reminder of the tragedy, but the love Officer Dexter Hammond had for his job and the people of this community. He was one of our family… a true friend… a brother.”
Jones presented Hammond’s widow, Chrissy, with the contents of the cabinet. “We want to thank you for the sacrifices you and your family made. We will always be grateful.”
Headland Mayor Ray Marler said April 24 was a terrible day for the city of Headland. “With him being our first officer we’ve lost in the line of duty, this is an honor to be here today to honor him. He was a great guy and a great family man. We thought doing this ceremony would, by getting the family back together, show our appreciation.” He said the thoughts and prayers of the department and the city would always be with Hammond’s family and friends.
Those on hand remembered Hammond as a practical joker. The powder bottle on the cabinet brought back times when Hammond would keep fellow department members in line Jones said. “If we were fussing about something, he’d say, ‘I’m gonna dust you off and get your attitude straight.’ He’d keep it on his desk all the time.” But, when it was time to serious, the chief said that playful attitude changed and Hammond got serious… quickly.
“He’s with the Lord now,” Jones said. “He’s in a good place… he’s beating the streets of gold.”