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 — One year ago today, sheriff’s Deputy Rick Daly became the first countywide officer in Clayton to be shot and killed in the line of duty.
To mark the anniversary, Clayton County officials will host a ceremony this morning to rename Justice Center Road to Richard Joseph Daly Memorial Boulevard. The road heads west off Tara Boulevard and partially encircles the Harold R. Banke Justice Center, which houses the courthouse, jail and sheriff’s office.
Clayton County Commissioners approved the resolution July 10, allowing the change and to budget the funds to erect new signs.
Daly, 55, spent most of his life in law enforcement, working for the Clayton County Police Department before going to the sheriff’s office.
Daly was remembered as a dedicated family man. He was the oldest of six children of Joyce Daly of Hampton and the late Joseph Daly. He and his wife, Cheryl, raised two children, Toby and Amber. The deputy was enjoying his role as grandfather to four.
Daly was eulogized by Sheriff Kem Kimbrough during a funeral service attended by about 2,000 law enforcement officers and civilians.
“He was a dutiful, dedicated son, a brother with a strong shoulder, a husband who was an able companion, a father who was a role model, a man who was what you wanted to be,” said Kimbrough during the services. “As a grandfather, he offered unconditional love to all the children in the family.”
Daly was an “officer’s officer,” who never failed to respond to the call for help.
“The day he died, he didn’t have to respond to that call,” said Kimbrough. “But he answered that call. He knew it was his call and he had to be there to support his brothers in the badge.”
Those left behind can learn from the tragedy by living life to the fullest and loving those around them, said the sheriff.
“Live every day as if it is your last because it very well could be,” said Kimbrough. “None of us knew the Lord was calling Ricky home that day.”
Daly’s killer, Johnathan Bun, 18, was convicted of murder in May and is awaiting an Aug. 9 sentencing hearing. He is facing life plus 75 years in prison.