Remembering Those Who Died in the Line of Duty

Lauderdale County Deputy Sheriffs Kevan Ward and Bobby Nolen were just doing their jobs when they gave a ride to an 82-year-old man whose car had broken down.

Unknown to the deputies, the man had a revolver hidden in his jacket. As they entered the city limits of Ripley, the man shot both deputies in the back of their heads, killing them.

Ward and Nolen, who died in 1990, are the last law enforcement officers in Lauderdale County to be killed in the line of duty.

Since 1873, at least 11 Lauderdale County law enforcement officers have been killed while doing their jobs.

They are honored on a memorial on the Lauderdale County Courthouse lawn. Each May, the community also honors them with a special ceremony. Additionally, citizens in Halls have named a park in Ward’s memory.

Starting from the most recent deaths, the following list includes the names, departments and dates of death of the officers who have been killed.

  • Lauderdale County Deputy Sheriff Bobby Joe Nolen, January 2, 1990.
  • Lauderdale County Deputy Sheriff Kevan Maurice Ward, January 2, 1990.
  • Lauderdale County Deputy Sheriff Charles William Monroe Gaines, January 24, 1942.
  • Lauderdale County Deputy Sheriff Will Hudson Evans, October 15, 1935.
  • Lauderdale County Deputy Sheriff Joseph Wyatt Lunsford, August 11, 1931.
  • Lauderdale County Constable J.A. Yarbrough, March 18, 1917.
  • Town Marshall Sylvester V. Dew, Henning Police Department, January 4, 1914.
  • Lauderdale County Deputy Sheriff Henderson Safley, October 29, 1906.
  • Lauderdale County Constable W. D. Turner, January 9, 1900.
  • Lauderdale County Deputy Constable Marvin Durham, January 9, 1900.
  • Lauderdale County Sheri  Simmons D. Alsobrook, November 1, 1873.

Some names sourced from