Remembering Fallen Deputy Earl Wesley Phillips
This morning, law enforcement officers, friends, and family attended the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department’s Fallen Officer Ceremony.
Bagpipes whistled, prayers were told, and the over 20 years of service Deputy Earl Wesley Phillips devoted to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office were remembered.
Sheriff Troy Peterson began the Fallen Officer Ceremony during his administration as a way to honor and give support to his law enforcement family. “You know, we go through things most people don’t go through in life and that support system is us. The strong support system you have is your family and that’s what we call it, a family.”
The immediate family of Deputy Philips is grateful the sheriff’s department held a ceremony for their loved one. “Everything is nice, just seeing everyone honor my grandpa.”
The fallen deputy’s watch ended in 1973. He was shot and killed at the age of 55 after stopping a juvenile he observed speeding in a suspicious car on Landon Road in Gulfport.
Now, Deputy Phillips rests alongside his wife Doris in the Floral Hills Memorial Garden.
The hole left behind by Philips’ absence led his son and grandson Wesley to the decision to memorialize their hero in a way that would keep him with them every day, everywhere they go. “I figured it was the least I could do. Me and my dad also did it. It was the least we could do. I’m not a big tattoo person, but it was worth it.”