Chief of Police R. E. Sparks

Chief of Police R. E. Sparks

Oxford Police Department, Alabama

End of Watch Friday, May 7, 1948

Add to My Heroes

R. E. Sparks

Chief of Police Sparks was shot and killed and an officer assisting him was critically wounded while attempting to arrest a man for being drunk and disruptive in public. As they struggled with the man he grabbed the officer's revolver and shot Chief Sparks five times and his officer once in his abdomen. A nearby store owner, who had called in the complaint, held the suspect at gunpoint until other officers arrived.

The suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. On June 16, 1950, four hours before his scheduled execution, his sentence was commuted to life.

He had served with the agency for 20 years.


  • Age 63
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge 600

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 8 Reflections

Another year has passed and you are still admired and respectfully remembered in the hearts and minds of so many. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends on this anniversary of your EOW. You will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

May 7, 2010

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.