Fallen Officer Ceremony for Harrison County Deputy Earl Wesley Phillips
Family, friends, and law enforcement officers gathered to remember Harrison County Sheriff’s Department’s fallen officer Deputy Earl Phillips.
Fifty years have passed since fallen officer Deputy Earl Phillips ended his watch, but the pain still runs deep. To honor his life and service to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, a fallen officer ceremony took place at his gravesite. Sheriff Troy Peterson said, “We try to present this every year for the family and for us to understand what’s going on. This could be one of us one day. So, it’s just trying to give something back to the family, back to the officers that have served.”
On February 19th, 1973, Deputy Phillips was shot and killed after stopping a juvenile he observed speeding in a suspicious car on Landon Road in Gulfport. Sheriff Peterson said, “We are not like the normal person. We go to work everyday with a gun on our side and a vest on. So, it’s a different job. We bring representation back to the family and back to the public that this actually happened.”
Phillip’s grandson, Wesley Phillips, says he wishes he would have been able to spend more time with his grandfather. “I was only nine-months-old. So, I don’t remember him, but I know he held me the morning before he got killed.”
Deputy Phillips gave the ultimate sacrifice, but his legacy will live on. “It’s very nice that people care about something that happened so long ago, but it is important to me and my family.”
Deputy Phillips rests alongside his wife Doris in the Floral Hills Memorial Garden.