Red Bank High School honors police officer who died of cancer - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Red Bank High School honors police officer who died of cancer

Posted: Updated:
Sgt. Brenda Hafley, right, wipes away a tear as police Chief Bobby Dodd presents her with the "Chief's Award" at the Chattanooga Police Department's annual awards ceremony in 2012. Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press Sgt. Brenda Hafley, right, wipes away a tear as police Chief Bobby Dodd presents her with the "Chief's Award" at the Chattanooga Police Department's annual awards ceremony in 2012. Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press
RED BANK, TN (WRCB) -

There's five new hall-of-famers at Red Bank High School. The school honored five graduates from different classes in its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony. But one of the inductees, Brenda Hafley, was honored posthumously in front of the entire school after dying last August from cancer.

The school's flag flew at half-staff as Brenda's daughter, Charla, represented her mom on stage.

"I wish I hadn't had to but it was really nice that they allowed me to," Charla said

Brenda Hafley '81 wasn't just a Red Bank graduate, she was a mainstay in local schools.

"She loved kids, she loved being with kids and helping kids," Charla said. "She loved being in high school when she was here and she would have really appreciated it."

The 25-year police veteran was big in the DARE program and spent her career encouraging kids to make good choices.

"You can help kids, you can change kids. Adults are mostly set in their ways but she knew if you could catch it young, you could make a difference," she said. "We could be in Wal Mart and people that had her DARE class would come up and say 'thank you Ms. Hafley, you made such a difference.'"

And now, Brenda can continue to make a big difference. She died in her second bout with cancer in August 2012. But her story lives on in the halls of Red Bank.

"She would've said surround yourself with good people cause you're who you have to live with and you might not be able to change the whole world but you can change someone's world and you can make a difference," Charla said.

Now thousands of future students will recognize Brenda as a distinguished alumnus and someone to look up to. But Charla wishes everyone knew her as a mom.

"I think I lucked out. I had a really good mom. And I think more people should have good moms," she said.

Other inductees Friday included:

  • Donald Seagle, Class of 1958, will be honored for his work in water treatment. Mr. Seagle's company, Water Environmental Consultants, has global markets for water treatment chemicals and technical services.
  • Randy Neville, Class of 1971, will be recognized for his contributions as a test pilot in the Navy and his current position as Boeing's Chief Test Pilot.
  • David Cook, Class of 1992, will be honored for his work as a columnist for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Mr. Cook has been a winner of the Tennessee Press Association Award for his journalistic work, as well as being named a Marshall Memorial Fellow.
  • Brian Phillips, Class of 1995, will be inducted for his work as the Area Director of University Impact in Brisbane, Australia at the University of Queensland.
Powered by Frankly