Back in June of 1913, an Albany Police Department officer made history that he didn’t want to make. E.P. Harris was that officer, and he was the first person in Dougherty County history to be killed in the line of duty. Harris was trying to arrest a suspect on Washington Street outside of the St. Nicholas hotel, but was shot and killed.
“Harris had arrested the man as a suspicious character. After going a short distance, the strange man began to resist the officer,” said the report. “Harris tried to hit the man with his club, but the man grabbed the club and pulled out a pistol, shooting the officer near the heart. He died in a few minutes before a doctor could reach him.”
The jacket that Harris was wearing, along with several news reports of the incident, made their way through the family and ended up in Florida. Lillian Anthamatten became the recipient. “My grandmother, who was (Harris’s) daughter, she was about eight years old when he was killed,” Anthamatten said. “She had it all my life…We found it in my aunt’s house. She was the holder of it. We found it in her closet.”
When her aunt passed away, Anthamatten decided to return the jacket to Albany. Now, it will be housed downtown at the Albany Police Department’s museum. “We thought this was the appropriate place for it,” Anthamatten said. “It means a lot.” Along with the jacket, she also donated photos of Harris to the department so that it can be seen by the public.