Article by Steve Corlew-
February is Black History Month, and with The Lexington Progress’ Back to the Badge issue, it couldn’t be a better time to spotlight the black officers who have served our community.
Henderson County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Victor Stanford has put together and shared a history of those black officers, from the time of segregation to today. Stanford relied on an oral history from friends and family members of those officers.
Many officers have risen through the ranks to positions of leadership. They have served with distinctions in the United States Military, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, District Attorney General’s Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, TVA, and other departments.
Will Hearn was the first black deputy to serve on the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department in the 1940s. He served for over a decade and was instrumental in shooting one of the suspects wanted for the death of Arthur Gurley and the shooting of Police Chief Clovis Stanfill. One of the suspects reportedly said they would have gotten away if it had not been for that sharp shooting black man.
Other black deputies did not join the force until…
For complete coverage, see the February 8th edition of The Lexington Progress.