Memorial honors fallen Chattanooga officer at crash site
Though Officer Nicholas Galinger's presence is no longer felt, one local pastor hopes his spirit will live on in Chattanooga through a memorial on display on Hamill Road.
Pastor Jimmie Talley has lived on Hamill Road for three years. His church, The Ministry Center, is next door, just feet away from where Officer Galinger was hit and killed.
“We've been saddened for all of those that are involved at every angle. It's just a terrible tragedy,” Talley said.
It was Saturday night. Officer Galinger was inspecting a manhole in the middle of the road. That's when police say Janet Hinds hit him and kept driving. Talley said he heard about the news and decided to pray for the young officer and everyone involved during Sunday's church service.
“The family of Officer Galinger has been on the hearts of our church as we joined with the community in mourning the tragic loss,” Talley added.
Two days later, Talley said a few Chattanooga police officers knocked on the church doors with plans to honor their friend. Talley said the officers graduated from the police academy with Officer Galinger.
“[They] asked if they could put up a memorial on our property, and, of course, we said yes. Honored to do that,” Talley said.
A wooden cross with Officer Galinger's badge number now marks the spot he last served the community. Talley owns the property.
“It is a sad reminder that a life was lost and sacrificed, and so when we see that, our hearts are heavy, but we also want to remember the contribution done his life made,” said Talley.
Talley said the memorial will stay up however long the community wants it to. He invites everyone to visit and reflect on thoughts of Officer Galinger's life and their own.