Former Clayton County Police K-9 Handler Richard Daly runs through an obstacle course with Wodan, a Belgian Shephard, in this April 13, 1995, file photo. Daly, who eventually moved to the county Sheriff's Office, was killed in the line of duty July 20, 2011. The county Commission will vote Tuesday to rename a street at the Harold R. Banke Justice Center in his honor.
JONESBORO — A Clayton County sheriff’s deputy who was shot to death while executing an arrest warrant last year will forever be linked to the courthouse where his murderer was recently convicted.
The Clayton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to change Justice Center Road at the Harold R. Banke Justice Center in Jonesboro to Richard Joseph Daly Memorial Boulevard, according to a copy of the resolution that Clayton News Daily has obtained. Daly died July 20, 2011, after he was shot by Veasna Johnathan Bun just outside Riverdale.
Daly had pulled the vehicle Bun was riding in over to execute a warrant for the teenager’s arrest on charges stemming from an earlier armed robbery. Bun was convicted in May of the deputy’s murder and is currently awaiting sentencing.
“Deputy Richard Joseph Daly gave his life to protect the lives and property of Clayton County citizens during the performance of his duties as a public safety officer,” the resolution states. “In memory of Deputy Daly, Clayton County wishes to rename Justice Center Road to Richard Joseph Daly Memorial Boulevard.”
Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough said the road name change was requested to tie into the one-year anniversary of Daly’s death, which is next week. Kimbrough said a re-dedication ceremony for the street could take place July 20 if the county can get the signs made and erected in time.
“When we talk about the sacrifice he made for this county, there is no way we can get close to repaying him for that, but this is a way to thank him for what he did,” said Kimbrough. “He continues to be an inspiration in our department. What better way to honor that inspiration than to rename the road that we travel down every day in his memory.
“In fact, officers from every law enforcement agency in the county drive down that street at some point every day so there is no better place for us to honor his memory.”
County Transportation and Development Director Jeff Metarko said the two new signs needed for the street could quickly be made ready for installation.
“I could probably have them made up in a day, or so,” said Metarko. He also said the signs that needed to be made would be located at the current intersection of Justice Center Road and Tara Boulevard. Metarko said each sign would cost $100.
Commissioner Michael Edmondson said it is important for the Commission to recognize law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty because of the sacrifice they have made for the county’s citizens.
“Deputy Richard Daly suffered such a tragedy and it is an honor for this board to recognize him in a way that can continue his memory into posterity,” Edmondson said.
Fayette County Sheriff’s Deputy Toby Daly, who is Richard Daly’s son, said the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office told the slain deputy’s family of their intention to request the name change before it went to the Commission.
“It would mean a lot to him,” said Toby Daly. “He spent his career in Clayton County, and raised us [Toby Daly and his sister, Amber Wright] in Clayton County, so to have a road in the county named after him would be special.”
Toby Daly said it will also be good for Richard Daly’s grandchildren to see a road named after the slain deputy.
“They’ll know what kind of a man he was, and how he lived his life and how he died,” Toby Daly said. “So, to see a road named after their granddad will let them know how important his work was.”