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Richard Joseph "Joey" Halford
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Birth: Sep. 14, 1964
Illinois, USA
Death: Nov. 3, 2012
Fulton County
Georgia, USA

Police Officer Richard Halford and Police Officer Shawn Smiley were killed in a helicopter crash while assisting in the search for a missing 9-year-old boy at approximately 10:30 pm.

They were flying low over an area approximately four miles west of downtown when the helicopter suddenly crashed to the ground near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Hamilton E. Holmes Drive. The helicopter exploded after impacting the ground. The cause of the crash is under investigation by the NTSB and FAA.

The boy they were searching for was found safe a short time later.

Officer Halford had served with the Atlanta Police Department for 26 years and had been assigned as a pilot in the Air Unit for 16 years. He is survived by his daughter.

Read more:


Richard Joseph Halford, 48, affectionately known by his immediate family as "Joey" passed Saturday, November 3, 2012 in Atlanta, GA while engaged in his passion, serving the citizens of Atlanta, GA as a helicopter pilot.
Memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. EST, today, Saturday, November 10, 2012 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 320 12th St., Columbus, GA with Father Thomas D. Weise, officiating. The repast will follow at Mother Mary Mission Catholic Church, 318 Seale Road, Phenix City, AL and interment will follow in Evergreen Memorial Park, 4400 St. Mary's Road, Columbus, GA according to Taylor Funeral Home, Inc.
Richard Joseph Halford was born September 14, 1964 to Mattie Frances Edmonds of Columbus, GA and Carl Earl Halford of Little Rock, AK. Upon completion of his elementary education in Chicago, IL, the family relocated to Columbus, GA where he attended Mother Mary Catholic School in Phenix City, AL. He later finished Hardaway High School in 1982. While at Hardaway, Richard enjoyed playing all areas of sports, where he excelled in football. Richard matriculated at Tuskegee Institute (Tuskegee,AL) where he majored in Business Administration.
In 1986, Richard came to Atlanta, GA to live with his uncle, Milton E. Dodson, Jr. and aunt, Geri Dodson, where he was introduced to the Atlanta Police Department. With the support of his uncle and the encouragement of family friends (Ret.) Major Herman Griner and (Ret.) Detective James Stewart, Richard completed the Police Academy in 1987.
Richard began his 26 year tenure at Zone 4 Precinct and later served in the DUI Task Force and Motorcycle Unit. He then joined the Aviation Unit in 1996, where he completed his service.
Richard was united in holy matrimony with Vivian Harris in February, 1989, and to this union one daughter was born, Gabrielle Bijon Halford. Richard was christened as an infant at St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church by Father Ignatius Behr in Columbus, GA and served as an altar boy throughout his developmental years. During his most recent years, regardless of his work schedule, Richard could be found in uniform at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Marietta at early Mass on Sunday mornings.
Richard leaves to cherish his memory one beloved daughter, Gabrielle Bijon Halford, a sophmore at Fort Valley State College; his mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Carl E. Halford of Columbus, GA; one brother, Gerald Cornelius Halford (Rebecca) of Pine Mountain, GA; one sister, Michelle Frances Hall (Malcolm) of Fayetteville, GA; eight uncles, Walter Daniel Edmonds (Collette) Ellenwood, GA; Norman Robert Edmonds of Miami, FL; Charlie Frank Edmonds of Columbus, GA; Albert Joseph Edmonds (Jacque`) Burke of VA; James Otis Edmonds of Cape Coral, FL; William Theodore Edmonds (Treva) of Greenville, TN; Steve Wright, Sr. of Little Rock, AK and Archie Halford of Flint, MI; two aunts, Mary Helen Lowe of Long Beach, CA and Geraldine (Geri) Dodson of East Point, GA; special friends, Cris Brown, John Hughley, Victoria, Crystal and Eric Kim and a host of other relatives and friends.
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Evergreen Memory Gardens Cemetery
Muscogee County
Georgia, USA
Created by: James Myers
Record added: Nov 04, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 100144102
Richard Joseph Joey Halford
Added by: Curtis Jackson
Richard Joseph Joey Halford
Added by: Curtis Jackson
Richard Joseph Joey Halford
Added by: Curtis Jackson
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Remembering you and Shawn!!
- Alvin Wilder
 Added: Sep. 22, 2015
Another Father's Day, with our HERO..gone!!
- Nia Imani-Diarra
 Added: Jun. 15, 2014

- Joseph M.Petri
 Added: Mar. 12, 2014
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