Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Russell Travis "Rusty" Stalnaker

Atlanta Police Department, Georgia

End of Watch Wednesday, March 31, 1999

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Reflections for Police Officer Russell Travis "Rusty" Stalnaker

Happy Heavenly Birthday Rusty. Praying for those who miss and love you today as they remember you on your 48th birthday…

Mother in law

December 8, 2022

Happy Birthday, Rusty! I visited your grave last week with my daughter. My children know you well, just as they would have if that night in March hadn't happened.


December 8, 2021

Thinking of you today, Rusty. Praying for Dana and your parents and brothers as they remember another Wednesday 22 years ago.

Carla E Gilreath

March 31, 2021

Still in our hearts, always on our minds. We remember you


March 31, 2020

Twenty-one years have passed since you left us all. Your memory is alive and well. Your kindness and silliness is remembered on this day and throughout the year. We miss you and all the memories we never got to make. I cherish the ones we do have.

A friend

March 31, 2020

Rest in peace Officer Stalnaker.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

March 28, 2020

We miss you, sweet friend.

Robby & Cathy

December 9, 2019

Officer Stalnaker,
On today, the 20th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Atlanta. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

March 31, 2019

Miss you.


December 28, 2018

I met your sweet momma today for the very first time. She spoke of you and it touched my mother's heart. My brother is a L.E.O. We feel her pain. She is so proud of you and she misses her best friend/lunch partner. Just as we miss our friend, Ricky Cash who lost his life in the line of duty. We know we will see you again one day. Save us a place. I am going to visit your sweet mother tomorrow and take her some flowers from you. I hope you approve. Much love to you and your family. Rest Easy.

Hensley Family
LEO Family

December 14, 2017

So, today I was cleaning out a drawer and came across the poem I wrote after you passed away. Then, I scrolled over your page on my favorites and wanted to spend a few minutes just hearing how others love and miss you too. So, I figured I'd share the poem I wrote so very long ago
The Fight
by Allison Roberts (Hammond)
A life that was given,
Fighting the fight,
Fighting for everything,
Everything that was right.

A life that was taken that one dark night
Because he continued, continued to fight
For the things that he knew,
The things that were right.

A fight that was won,
In the end,
Because he was loved
By his family and friends.

He was loved not only by those that he knew
But also by those that were watching the news.
When the flash came in that an officer had been shot,
The whole city and state went into shock.

When an officer came to tell the other half of his heart
His true love said, "There goes my heart."
The world she knew had been torn apart.
With a heart torn in pieces she sought peace for her heart.

His parents and brothers were torn apart too,
For this officer was not just someone they knew
He was someone his parents could always count on,
He was strength his brothers could count on too.

They all continue to fight the fight
That fight for which their loved one had given his life,
To protect the innocent and give them their rights,
To allow them to live in the day and sleep at night.

This man had a reason, a reason to fight
He knew his Heavenly Father, the one True Light,
The Light of Jesus and His Father's Might,
Gave him the courage, the courage to fight.

Rusty Stalnaker- My dad still talks about you every time we deep sea fish. I still think about you every March and whenever we do a Vacation Bible School-because you were one of the greatest leaders there was!
Rusty's family- you are all near and dear to my heart.


November 2, 2016


It's been 17 years now without you. It seems like last week I saw you last. You still visit in my dreams. My children know you, even though they came after you left. Your memory is alive and well and we will always remember you.

A Friend

March 31, 2016

Rusty, today you were remembered and honored when the bell rang when your name was called in City Hall. Even though 16 years have come and gone when I think of you or drive by Pine Street silent tears flow no words can I speak to ease the pain and hurt felt by so many still today. RIP

Diane Askew
mother in law

May 5, 2015

'Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.'

My Rusty, we love you so very much, and one day soon, we will all be together again within the veil.

Capt. Ron T. Shaw
Uncle / Atlanta Police Dept. (retiree)

April 12, 2014

We haven't forgotten. You are always a part of us. So many people still miss you still love and will forever remember you.


April 1, 2014

A Poem For My Son
Forever In My Heart

I mourn the years,
but no one cares.
I wipe the tears, that
never dry.
I scream the words of,

There is no peace of
which I can find.
I hold such a tragic
picture in my mind.

He's gone from my life,
He's out of all sight.
I hold all memories
in my heart so tight.

I miss his smiles, his
laugh, and his humor.
I know the longer he's
gone my memory grows

Help me Lord, for I
miss him so.
Help me Lord, your the
only one who can know.

Hug him in Heaven
for me today, Tell him
I'll see him soon in
your time, I pray.

Love forever,

Mrs.Linda Stalnaker

April 1, 2014

On today, Rusty, you are in so many memories. We're still mourning our loss, but remembering to laugh and celebrate our good fortune to have you as part of our lives. Fifteen years, and the tears come just as easily today, as does the laughter.

A Friend

March 31, 2014

We write to you as we were talking with are still so much a part of our lives and hearts. You created friendships that haven't faded. You impacted us all in a way only you could have.

Today, I know I will see a turtle...and I will remember you.

I will pass Pine Street and weep. And then I'll go on and enjoy beauty and life and fun.

You are missed. Always.


March 31, 2014

I think of Rusty still all the time. My thoughts often go to his family and how much they all must miss him. He was my seat mate and right hand man in class #157. Without him I would not have gotten through with a smile on my face. I can still her his voice. Our class wasn't that close though the staff tried to make us be and Rusty was the glue that held us together. He could make friends with anyone I swear! I will forever hold dear the image of him doing his push-ups which one of the instructors gave him the permanent nickname of "Turtle" because he spread out when he did them. He just had a way about him that will always stay with me. To the family please know you are thought of often and that I know Rusty is always checking in on you. He often spoke of his family and you could tell you all were his world...

SPO AE Soeldner

February 5, 2014

I was thinking today of all the cakes we never got to share. Of all the dreams that died along with you. On your birthday, I am struck with the brevity of your life...and the great impact you had on mine. I'm forever grateful...

May your family be comforted and surrounded with warm memories on this day. My heart hurts most of all on this day for them.


December 8, 2013

Rest in peace. Continue to look down on us and provide that blanket of protection.

Inv Malstrom
Atlanta PD

March 31, 2013

Thank you for your service and for helping to make America a safer place.

Detective Brian Jones
Boulder County Sheriff's Office, CO

March 24, 2013

With tears and smiles all mixed up together I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday.

You are never very far away from my thoughts.


December 8, 2012

In the past week the City of Atlanta lost two APD officers in a helicopter crash while looking for a missing child. Immediately, my thoughts were drawn to horrible news and experience of losing you on March 31, 1999. Seeing and feeling the pain all over again is still heart breaking with flash backs of seeing you in Grady on that stretcher. Seeing the pain of Dana and your mom and dad, Linda and Larry losing you was unbearable. I can only pray for those two APD officers who ended their watch and their families because I know of the hard hours and hard days ahead of them. Rusty much as changed since you left us. Some for the good and some not. I know you are in the presence of our Father God and you are bringing everyone together for a heavenly Thanksgiving feast of all the saints. As Dana once said, you are greatly loved and never forgotten. Rest in peace Rusty!

mother in law

November 7, 2012

Rusty, this is your cousin Amber. I wanted to let you know how much you mean to me and our family. Words can't describe the love and loss we feel. I wanted to let you know that we have tried our hardest to be there for Adam, Joey, Linda, and Larry. Unfortunately we lost touch with Dana. When you died we lost her too. She has such a kind spirit, we miss having her in our lives. You would love Adam's wife Meredith, she is amazing beyond words. We haven't met Joey's wife yet, but she sounds great. God, we miss and need you so much.
You were such a bright spot in everyone's life. In you short time on this earth you accomplished so much. You were loved and cherished by more people that I can count. There will never be any one like you on this earth. You were one of a kind. I give my life to bring you back. I would trade places with you in a split second. That's how much I love you.
I hope they have Aerosmith Cd's in heaven and please forgive me for growing taller than you don't "bust my grill." See you soon.


November 4, 2012

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