North Georgia couple crafts memorial for officer killed in Hamill Road hit-and-run
A small cross marks the approximate spot where Chattanooga Police Officer Nicholas Galinger was hit and killed late last month. Now, a North Georgia couple has designed a more lasting memorial to stand along the side of Hamill Road.
"This is all handcrafted" said Cynda Sims.
"About a week process," added her husband Mike.
The finished product is a lasting tribute to the 38-year old officer was struck and killed while on duty.
"When this young man died the way that he died," said Cynda, "it just broke my heart."
In addition to the Boulder Designs business with husband Mike, Cynda works for the Georgia Department of Corrections at Walker State Prison.
"Being in law-enforcement, it's kind of like a family," she said. "And he's about the age of our son. And so, when I saw the cross that they had made for him, I thought, 'you know what, we can do something a little bit bigger; maybe a little bit more permanent.'"
So, they contacted The Ministry Center on Hamill Road. The church owns the property where the memorial cross was set up. Then, with the okay, the two got to work. Their creation, though more substantial, remains simple in form. It bears the fallen officer's name, badge number, and an American flag overlaid by the thin blue line.
"I just wanted to do something for the community; to give back," Cynda said. "The community has been good to us and I just wanted to do something for the family, for the Chattanooga Police Department, for the community."
Cynda Sims says Galinger's family has expressed their appreciation.
Ever since the incident occurred, Mike Sims says, one thing has been on his mind.
"I've been a truck driver most all my life and I've seen so many accidents," he explained. "People, just slow down and respect lawn enforcement and their vehicles and stuff. You know, stuff like this so unnecessary."
The memorial stone will be installed at the Hamill Road site Saturday morning at 10:00 AM. Police Chief David Roddy will speak. If you would like to attend, parking is available in The Ministry Center lot.
The service is expected to last a half-hour or so.