Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff William Thomas Bishop

Fayette County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Friday, May 2, 1997

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Deputy Sheriff William Thomas Bishop

Deputy Sheriff Bishop,
On today, the 25th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Fayette County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

May 2, 2022

I remember when this happed. Our county was devastated over this senseless loss.

Mashelle Gibson
Fellow Fayette Countian

May 6, 2018



May 2, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

January 29, 2008

Tommy, You're leaving left a ache in many hearts. Your missed each and every day. I had gotten used to seeing you each day in the courthouse and when I asked what you were doing, you always had the same answer " courtn darlin, just courtn"! You had trust, love, and concern for other in your heart without reguard to your own life or feelings and for that reason we all love you. Jimmy has taken your position over and I pray for his safe return to me each day, I have the comfort of knowing that you're looking out for him. Thank you for all times at Thompson's store when you would come in and keep me company, I love you for that. We all love and miss you very much.

Judy Lipford

January 25, 2007

It has been almost 10 years since your death. Im glad for the years that i got to spend with you and will never forget your smile. Im very proud to call you my family and thank you for all the service and protection that you gave me and the people of Fayette County. We miss you and love you bunches......

Stephanie Bishop Lipford

December 29, 2006

Deputy Bishop, thanks for all you did while with us. It's a shame to read the events surrounding your death. I hope the punk responsible for your murder has met his fate. God Bless you, and your family buddy. Rest easy now my Brother in Law, your watch on earth is over.

SGT. John L. Gulledge Retired
Escambia CO FL SO

November 21, 2006

I was a new member of the Fayette County Sheriff's Dept. and I was on my second day on the job there on the day that Tommy Bishop was killed. I will forever remember the radio transmissions and calls for help that went out on that day. I was a passenger in a patrol car with another deputy and we were involved in the chase that ended with the apprehension of Deputy Bishop's killer. I can honestly say that May 2, 1997 was the saddest day of my L.E. career and I will never forget that day as long as I live. I think of Tommy often and I pray for his family, friends, and colleagues as well. Rest in Peace Tommy.

Blake Berretta
former co-worker

August 2, 2006

To Deputy Sheriff William Thomas Bishop, his loved ones and his fellow officers:

On this the ninth anniversary of your tragic death, please know that your memory is revered and honored today.

May your family continue be to comforted by the warm embrace of their law enforcement family, and other police survivors who share this painful journey with them. My heart is with your family. I know the pain never goes away for those who cared about you.

Reading the loving reflection left by your friend for gives us an understanding of what a good and honorable man you were and of the high esteem with which you are held.

Deputy Bishop, as a peace officer you rescued us, saved our possessions, our lives and our families. You are one of the rare heroes among us. You were always there for us in the most traumatic moments of our lives. No matter when we called, we just expected that you would come and do whatever it took to help us, and you always met our expectations. Your selflessness and dedication are awe-inspiring.

This world, this country, your community truly are better places because of you. To have lost you is a great tragedy, an irreplaceable, immeasurable loss for society. We are grateful for and to you, and honor you for all you did for us day in and day out whether you received a word of thanks or praise.

Rest in Peace, Deputy Bishop. I am so humbled by your valor and courage. Your life was taken in such a cowardly, brutal murder. I hope your family got the full measure of justice they deserved.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the years of distinquished service Deputy Bishop gave to his community and the citizens of Tennessee, and for the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on May 2, 1997.

Phyllis Loya, mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

May 1, 2006

i worked with tommy for 6 yrs. i will never forget the day he was killed. he was a good man and loved his little girl. tommy is the last person that you woiuld think would have been killed. he would have given his gun to his killer if he had of asked to avoid any kind of danger to the others around him, but his killer shot him down for no reason. i often think of him and i doubt that i will never forget the day he died but more to the point, i wil never forget that he was a good person that i was fortunate enough to call friend,

inv.ricky wilson
fayette county sheriffs office

August 20, 2005

Thanks for the sacrifice that you have made while performing your duties, now rest easy and let other carry on the fight.

Mikki Bishop
Henry County PD

LT M. Bishop
Henry County Police Department

July 12, 2005

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