Police Officer Richard Joseph Halford

Police Officer Richard Joseph Halford

Atlanta Police Department, Georgia

End of Watch Saturday, November 3, 2012

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Richard Joseph Halford

Police Officers Richard Halford and 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 Hughes OH-6A 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, parents, brother, and sister.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 26 years
  • Badge 3788

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

helicopter crash

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Halford,

Thank you for your lifetime of service and the many years invested as a police officer and pilot. Your dedicated spirit will continue to inspire many, for years to come. Thank you for leaving a legacy that shines bright with selflessness and community.

You are not forgotten.

Emily Fox
United States Air Force

November 9, 2022

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