During a trip to the nation’s capital three years ago, Sheriff Mike Harrison went looking for something he was surprised he could not find.

 

During a trip to the nation’s capital three years ago, Sheriff Mike Harrison went looking for something he was surprised he could not find.

Harrison was visiting the National Law Enforcement Officers Monument and seeking the names of friends and brothers in uniform engraved on the wall honoring those who had fallen.

There are over 21,000 names on that wall, but amazingly, as far as Harrison was concerned, one was missing: Moses “Mose” Hill, the only Gulf County deputy killed in the line of duty.

Harrison had found Hill on the “Officer Down” memorial page, a data base of all of the nation’s law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.

There he found the basic information, the details surrounding Hill’s death on May 10, 1950, 67 years ago last week, after Hill responded to a domestic disturbance in Highland View.

So, the absence of Hill’s name from the wall was befuddling.

“His name was not on the wall,” Harrison said. “It is an incredible memorial in itself.”

Harrison wanted to rectify that omission and contacted Hill’s grandsons, Ed and Carl Hill, neither of whom lived in the area.

The grandsons were eager to address their ancestor’s absence from the wall.

“They never even knew their grandfather,” Harrison said. “When he was killed, serving the citizens of Gulf County, they weren’t even born.”

Harrison and the grandsons worked on and submitted the paperwork required to have Hill considered for the monument and learned in January he had been selected for inclusion this year.

Hill’s was among 394 names added after a ceremony Monday, a list of names that included not only officers lost during the past year, but also “recently discovered” officers lost in the line of duty through the years.

Over the weekend, the grandsons met Harrison and Lt. Tim Wood of the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office for the ceremony honoring the law enforcements lost in service to communities.

The event includes a Saturday night candlelight vigil on the National Mall, during which all names on the wall are read, and the official memorial ceremony Monday which included speeches from President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence.

“There were probably at least 20,000 people for the candlelight vigil,” Harrison said. “It was moving.

“I was very happy to get Mose’s name on that wall for the family, the agency and the memory of Mose Hill.”

An additional step will be taken next year on the anniversary of Hill’s death when Harrison will have an appropriate marker placed on Hill’s Jackson County grave.

“This is to remember his sacrifice and also to remind deputies that there are dangers out there, we have a dangerous job,” Harrison said. “We could leave for work and never return home. It is just part of it.”

Hill was beaten to death by a man involved in the domestic disturbance.

The man, who had served time for a prior murder, was shot by Hill but continued to beat him in the head with a rifle barrel.

Hill, who had also served with the Port St. Joe Police Department, died from his injuries at Port St. Joe Community Hospital.