A visitation and funeral for five-term Dade County Sheriff Philip Street took place on Dec. 2 outside of the Dade County Jail from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Law enforcement from all over northwest Georgia was in attendance along with Dade County officials, Trenton officials and many others. An honor guard was placed on each side of Street’s casket and would rotate between officers every 10 minutes.
The funeral proceedings began at 1 p.m., with Pastors Dennis Flaugher and Emeritus Reece Fauscett of Trenton United Methodist Church officiating.
Dade County Deputy Clerk Carey Fauscett Anderson sang a rendition of “Peace in the Valley.”
Dade Sheriff Ray Cross was the first to speak about Street.
“Philip devoted his life to serving Dade County as a five-term, 20-year Sheriff,” Cross said. “He left a legacy of devotion to Dade County. Some of his accomplishments include the construction of [the Dade County Sheriff’s Office building], what is known as ‘Hope for the Holidays’, which has since helped thousands of our children on Christmas. He was instrumental in bringing the [Drug Abuse Resistance Education] Program to Dade County schools as well as numerous other accomplishments. I began my career with Philip as one of his deputies. I personally saw the numerous connections he made with our local law enforcement agencies to better our community. Dade County has not only lost a wonderful Sheriff, we’ve lost a good friend.”
Cross went on to say that from now on, the Hope for the Holidays program would be named the “Philip Street Hope for the Holidays.”
KWN’s Evan Stone reflected on the early days of his friendship with Street.
“He had been a volunteer fireman,” Stone said. “Chief Jerry Kyzer and him basically ran the fire department after Jerry’s dad started it. One day, in the office, he told me, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about running for Sheriff. Do you think I got a chance?’ I said, ‘Philip, there’s enough good people in this county – I think you’ve got a shot.’ Of course, we know that good outweighed the bad.”
Stone ended up working for Street at the jail after he was elected Sheriff.
“We inherited a jail that was condemned,” Stone said. “We couldn’t house the prisoners. Many of the deputies that were there remember that we had to leg iron their legs to a chair out in the lobby and we watched them until they made bond or figured out how to take them down to Chattooga County if we were lucky enough to have Chattooga meet us at the county line.”
For several years, Street was the only backup the deputies had if something went wrong.
“He’d say [over the radio], ‘I’m going home Dade. If you need me, call me,” Stone said. “He’d always say that. We had to at times.”
Stone then brought up even more of Street’s notable accomplishments.
“We’ve talked about several of the things Philip was responsible for,” Stone said. “Well, loving the county was probably number one. He started the neighborhood watch program because we literally didn’t have any law enforcement. He brought us into the 21st century and I’ll always believe that that was the best statement you could find for this county.”
Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said that Street, who was Captain of the Detention Division of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, was the third employee from the WCSO to pass away in the month of November.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat it folks – this is tough,” Wilson said. “This is the third employee I’ve had that passed away [in November] – all unexpectedly to some degree. Certainly, this one here today is not one that we thought we’d be standing here.”
Other speakers included Trenton Mayor Alex Case, Marion County Sheriff Ronnie ‘Bo’ Burnette, Dade County Executive Ted Rumley and Street’s daughter Jordan Powell.
The procession began at 2 p.m., and wound its way from the Courthouse Square to Lake Hills Cemetery for the interment.