Savannah seeks national honor for fallen officer

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SAVANNAH, Tenn. — Savannah police put an American flag at the headstone of Marshal Fred Stricklin. Seventy-three years ago on July 20, Stricklin was killed in the line of duty. “It was like something out of the Old West,” Stricklin’s granddaughter Catherine Carroll said. “He had to come down and was supposed to take a pistol away from a guy.” Carroll said during that encounter, Stricklin was fatally wounded. Carroll only knows her granddad through stories. A police report was never written because Stricklin was Savannah’s only officer at the time. Official documents were filed through the sheriff. “There’s a lot of times I’ll sit around and wonder what would’ve happened if he’d lived a little bit longer and I could’ve known him a little bit better,” Carroll said. In this World War II era, community members relied on the city newspaper, “The Courier.” The articles are on file on microfilm at the Hardin County Library. More than seven decades later, Savannah Police Chief Gary Will Jr. said the department’s goal is to get Marshal Fred Stricklin’s name on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. “Cemeteries get damaged, destroyed, things like that. The national memorial would allow us to keep remembering him long after all of us are gone,” Will said. This recognition is something Carroll said will be one more story she can tell about the bravery of her grandfather. Once Stricklin’s name is etched on the wall in Washington, the family will be honored and participate in National Police Week, scheduled for May 2016.

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