No one expected the death of Deputy William Truesdale on the morning of January 27, 1981, when a prisoner he was escorting wrestled his gun away and shot him in the chest.
Truesdales son, Kevin, 6 months old at the time, doesnt remember that day.
But chances are hell always remember the day he was sworn in as an Alexandria sheriffs deputy three decades after his father fell in the line of duty.
The Alexandria Sheriffs Office renamed the jail after the late Truesdale, the citys only deputy to be killed in the line of duty, last Thursday. After the unveiling, Kevin Truesdale raised his right hand and officially continued the tradition of public service his father began. He started duty this week.
It kind of brings everything full circle, Truesdale said, following a poignant ceremony at the jail that included helicopter flyovers and the sheriffs color guard.
Truesdale was so moved by the decision to rename the jail that he submitted an application and went through the training. His fathers legacy, particularly his respect for all people, has lived on inside him, and Truesdale knows he has big shoes to fill.
Kevins mother, wife and own young son attended the ceremony, a solemn yet buoyant service.
Today is truly bittersweet, said Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne. We feel today the sorrow that comes from losing one of our own, yet today, we also celebrate a life. Today we remember a sacrifice, but also look with hope to the future.