Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Chief of Police J. B. Hamby

Catoosa Police Department, Oklahoma

End of Watch Friday, September 1, 1978

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Chief of Police J. B. Hamby

I went to Catoosa schools for 12 years & graduated in 1967. I knew J.B. Hamby very well; as he always looked out for the athletes. He was an admired ;aw enforcement officer & feared no one. He always had time to visit with you as he patrolled in his squad car; especially in the evening when things got as rowdy as they could in this small town in the 60's. J.B. didn't like seeing strangers come through Catoosa looking for trouble & everyone knew that & stayed away. I truly think that J.B. exited our world as he he would have wanted: in a gun fight; protecting those he swore to do so. He will always be a hero & friend to me.

Bob Sadler

February 18, 2023

My mom is the one who stayed with officer Hamby, and prayed for him. My mom didn't want for him to die alone.

Tina Talbert
Daughter of the woman who stayed with Chief Hamby

November 23, 2022

I was in middle school the day he got shot. His son was in my grade. I was new to Catoosa that year and remember how sorry I felt for his kids. My mom told me the story. The part I remember was that Mrs McAfee, who was working at the tag office was said to be praying the Lord's Prayer with him when he died.

Pam Warner Gennardo

October 28, 2022

My husband ‘s sister Lynda Hadley worked at the Tag Agency and was working the day this happened. I truly believe JB Hamby saved her life. Our family will be forever grateful for his sacrifice.

Kathy Quick

June 14, 2021

I had the pleasure of knowing JB as I was a teenager in the late 70’s in east Tulsa. He was larger than life a true lawman, the long hair stories were true he didn’t like long hair on boys. I had long hair but got to know him and went to several fish fry’s he would have at Rogers point every year. He was such a good man and walked the walk and talked the talk a true hero.

Jay Saiz

May 12, 2021


Tabitha miller

September 8, 2020

I grew up in Catoosa Ok. Me and my brother played at J.B. Hamby’s house all the time during summer break. He always was our hero,he seemed so tall and intimidating to us because we were just little kids.
I remember he worked hard and often. It always seemed everyone respected him and liked him. He was our local bigger than life cowboy sheriff.

Marguerite Tuggle

September 7, 2020

Rest in peace knowing that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your fellow law enforcement.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 1, 2020

Rest in peace Chief Hamby.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

June 1, 2020

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

March 13, 2020

I was 11 yrs old at the time. My Dad was a lawman he was a friend of J. B. and really admired and respected him. I remember Dad telling my mom about the tragedy

Doctor Rainman
Friend to the family

January 16, 2020

I was in middle school when this happened! I rode the bus with his nephews and son! I recently watched an unsolved mystery which reminded my of this tragic event!

Suzanne Sexton Hughes
Friend of family

March 31, 2018

In reading the reflections about J. B. it brings back a lot of memories as to when I went to Catoosa High School and being pulled over by J. B. for speeding through town. He was tough but always fair. He did make boys with long hair get hair cuts that is fact (no I did not get one my hair was short enough). When he pulled me over he saw my rifle that had belonged to my grandfather beside the seat. We ended up talking for awhile about guns and hunting. That was the reason I was speeding I was late for school for I had been hunting early that morning. I then had an excuse when I got to school that I had been stopped by J. B. In those days kids could carry guns to school. Friends called him J. B. He stopped me a few other times, but only to talk. He was involved a lot in making a difference in the lives of the youth of Catoosa Oklahoma. I know he did mine. Thank you my brother

Special Deputy L J Smith
Franklin County Sheriff's Office Winchester TN

December 29, 2017

Rest easy my Brother In Law. Chief Hamby, Sir, you are not forgotten. God bless your Family.

SGT John L Gulledge Ret
Escambia County Sheriff Office (FL)

December 15, 2017

He was a great officer. Our town suffered a great loss when we lost Chief Hamby. These are the two special memories I have of Chief Hamby. When I was in high school, sometimes I sat with friends at the nearby cafe. It was a special honor when he sat at our booth. Once when I was on a date with a young man from Tulsa, J.B. pulled us over. I believe he was just checking out the "stranger in town". When John E. got out of the car J.B. looked over at me, I smiled and I know he recognized me. So after checking the drivers license he sent us on our way. He was a good man and a great law enforcement officer.

Linda Phillips Deal
Catoosa resident

August 30, 2016

J. B was my mentor after I got out of the service in 1974, I was raised in Catoosa and knew him all my life. He further wrote a letter of recommendation for me which started my law enforcement career. He is sorely missed and was a great example of getting the job done.

Wash. Co. Sheriffs Dept. REtired

August 30, 2015

I remember his son in church as a youngster growing up. I never met his father but equate him as a hero like Buford Pusser.
I've heard stories in other big cities that police wait until every body is dead so they only have to do a police report. But Hamby defended. A true hero. The kind of policemen we need more of when there is no time to call for back up. God rest his soul in heaven.

Just a home grown Tulsa boy

November 22, 2013

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 35th anniversary year of your death. I am priviliged to leave a tribute to you. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Lasater Loya
mom of fallen Pittsburg (CA) officer Larry Lasater

April 28, 2013

I remember J.B., My first encounter with J.B. was when I was in CATOOSA to visit a friend my car was a customized and this made it very noticeable causing J.B. to stop me since he had not seen me before, I was asked to exit my car then he proceeded to search it asking me a few questions while doing so. I told him I was on the way to visit a friend telling him my friends name, he stopped searching and replied that my friend was his next door neighbor, which I at that point was glad to hear. J.B. never stopped me again he would just wave and keep going, his reputation was well earned he was tough as they came and I was proud to have known him. ANONYMOUS


September 14, 2011

I was eleven years old when my daddy lost his best friend. This event impacted the rest of his life. I was a little girl who had God, her daddy and J.B., in that order. His impact on society reached farther than just my daddy. He inspired many young people to become servants to thier community. I myself am an E.R. nurse. My daddy and J.B. are swappin tales now, but he will never be forgotten by myself or many others. I miss them both terribly and have several photos to remember him by.
All my love Uncle J.B.
Nikki Powell

Nikki Powell-Asher, Citizen
My father Jack Powell was his best friend

June 22, 2010

His Judgment Day:
The officer stood and faced his God, Which must always come to pass. He hoped his shoes were shinning, Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, Officer, How shall I deal with you? Have you always turned the other cheek To my church have you been true?"
The officer squared his shoulder and said, "No, Lord, I guess I aint, Because those of us who carry badges can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays, And at times my talk was rough, And sometimes I've been violent Because the streets are tough.
But I never took a penny That wasn't mine to keep.. Though I worked a lot of overtime, when the bills got too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help Though at times I shook with fear. And sometimes, God forgive me, I've wept an unmanly tear.
I know I don't deserve a place among the people here. They never wanted me around except to calm their fear.
If you've a place for me here, Lord, it needn't be so grand. I never expected or had too much, But if you don't...I'll understand.
There was silence all around the throne, where the saints often trod. As the officer waited quietly for the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, Officer. You've borne your burdens well. Come walk a beat on heaven's streets, You've done your time in hell"

Author unknown

May God be with everyone

Motor officer Terry Pauley
Plano PD Plano, TX

May 23, 2010

I was born and raised in Catoosa and i remember my grandpa telling me stories about Chief Hamby. The one i remember most if its even the fact that Cheif Hamby would take you and make you get a haircut if you was a boy with long hair that got in trouble. I don't if its true it might have been away for my grandpa to keep me out of trouble and to keep my hair short either way it. And I appericate both of them touching my life in many ways. They are both in my thoughts and prayers.


April 17, 2010

"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 9, 2008

I remember Chief Hamby coming to our elementary school and showing us his patrol car when I was in kindergarden. He took time to show a little kid like me the inside of his car and talk with me. 35 yrs. later I still remember

DTO 6357

December 22, 2007

I was barely a year old when Chief Hamby's watch ended. People in Catoosa still show deep respect for Chief Hamby and tell stories of his "adventures". I sent intently and listen as a child would his mother at bedtime. He is missed, but his legacy lives on.

Sgt. Andrew J. Wimberley, III
Catoosa Police Department

August 11, 2006

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