Fallen Atlanta police officer grew up in Columbus - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Fallen Atlanta police officer grew up in Columbus

Posted: Updated:
  • NEWSMore>>

  • Lee Co. Sheriff’s Office investigating murder, attempted murder cases

    Lee Co. Sheriff’s Office investigating murder, attempted murder cases

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:06 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:06:06 GMT
    On August 31 at about 11:33 p.m. CST, the Lee County Sheriff's Office received multiple 911 calls from subjects attending a poker party in reference to a shooting with at least two injured gunshot victims. More >>
    On August 31 at about 11:33 p.m. CST, the Lee County Sheriff's Office received multiple 911 calls from subjects attending a poker party in reference to a shooting with at least two injured gunshot victims. 

     
    More >>
  • Seale, AL residents enjoy return of Labor Day Fair

    Seale, AL residents enjoy return of Labor Day Fair

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:26:06 GMT
    Residents in east Alabama are rounding up the Labor Day celebration at one of the Alabama's oldest courthouses. The courthouse located in Seale, Ala. is the third oldest in the state. This is the first fair
    More >>
    Residents in east Alabama are rounding up the Labor Day celebration at one of the Alabama's oldest courthouses. The courthouse located in Seale, Ala. is the third oldest in the state. This is the first fair since 2010 when the fair restarted, and it originated in 1980 to raise money to refurbish the old courthouse after it began to deteriorate.More >>
  • Columbus woman speaks out about domestic violence

    Columbus woman speaks out about domestic violence

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:23 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:23:08 GMT
    A Columbus woman is speaking out about domestic violence. She speaks about her near death experience and the fight to regain control of her life.More >>
    A Columbus woman is speaking out about domestic violence. She speaks about her near death experience and the fight to regain control of her life.More >>
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Officer Richard J. Halford died doing what he loved- serving the citizens of Atlanta and keeping them safe while putting his own life on the line. 

He was a Hardaway High School native and his family still lives in Columbus.  He was known by close relatives as Joey, and today, they are still in disbelief that he has been taken from them.

"He did what he had to do on this Earth, and God just came down and said, ‘My child, my child, well done.  But it is hard to accept," said his cousin Charonda Huff.

Halford was on the force since 1986 and had more than 16 years of experience as a pilot in the city's air unit.  His cousin said he loved flying helicopters and he was always wearing his uniform because he was always on duty.

"Joey was in my wedding," said Huff. "He was a workaholic, so for him to take off and come to family events, everyone just showered him with love because we knew he worked so hard.  He loved his job, so knowing that he died a hero does comfort me a little bit."

Officials are still investigating the cause of the crash, but they do know the helicopter carrying Officers Richard Halford and Shawn Smiley hit the top of a power pole before it fell to the ground Saturday night.  The two were helping in the search for a missing child.  Halford leaves behind a daughter, and Smiley is survived by three children, all younger than 10 years old.

"He was a very present father," Huff said. "He was a supportive spouse.  He was the son that any mother would ever want.  He was so consistent in all his behaviors.  He was just perfect in every way."

Two families have lost a father and husband and moving forward will be difficult.  Officer Halford took a major risk to protect his community every time he went up in the air and this tragedy shows us just how easy something can go wrong at any time. 

Donations to the family can be made in the officers' names at any Wells Fargo branch.

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.