Last week the Covington Board of Mayor and Aldermen gave Fraternal Order of Police its blessing to proceed with a memorial honoring fallen deputy Ricky Rose.
FOP President Scottie Delashmit told the board the organization would be working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to install a commemorative sign at the former justice complex, which now houses the county clerk’s office, department of motor vehicles, dispatch and other county offices.
“It was a lot of controversy going on back then so we waited a while before we did this,” Delashmit said.
Rose, 22, was killed by his partner, Jimmy Hicks, while on duty in November 1988.
Initially it was called a “terribly bizarre accident” by then-district attorney Paul Summers who said preliminary reports indicated the wound to the right side of Rose’s forehead had been self-inflicted while he was cleaning Hicks’ gun.
Hicks and the sheriff were both under federal investigation at the time and both later served prison sentences, his partner for criminally negligent homicide and the sheriff for extortion and mail fraud.
It is believed Rose was working with federal investigators.
Delashmit said the sign would be in the middle of a one-mile stretch of Hwy. 51 dedicated to Rose.
A similar memorial was installed in Atoka last year in memory of another fallen deputy, Mike Erwin, who was killed in the line of duty on Oct. 31, 1975.
“Senator (Paul) Rose and Rep. (Debra) Moody worked with us to have part of that section named as a memorial and by it being a memorial it does not change anybody’s address, it’s just a green sign …”
Rose left his parents, brother Mike, and a daughter who was born after his death. His parents have since passed away, but every year at the law enforcement memorial his family members help place roses in the memorial wreath in his memory.
Delashmit says they’ve wanted a memorial for a long time.
“We feel like enough time has passed that any of the bad feelings that was going on … there’s been enough time for healing and it’s time to move forward.”