Police: Former police chief killed by man he arrested decades ago

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by WHAS11

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 30 at 3:54 AM

TOMPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- From a mortuary in Louisville to a funeral home in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, 120 miles away in Monroe County near the border of Tennessee, officers from several agencies escorted the body of Herbert Proffitt.

The 82-year old Proffitt was killed in front of his home Tuesday. Police say 81-year old Charles Hammer is charged with murder and his past with Proffitt goes back several decades.

Representatives of Proffitt's family say as Monroe County Sheriff, he arrested Hammer in a domestic case for which he was later sent to prison. They believe Hammer vowed retaliation and stalked him several times. They say he shot Proffitt when he went to get the mail.

The funeral procession began in Louisville, because the state Medical Examiner's office is there, but Proffitt was taken to his home in Monroe County where he will be laid to rest Friday, ending a more than 50-year law enforcement career. He served three stints as Police Chief in Tompkinsville and was elected Sheriff in Monroe County. He retired three years ago.

Proffitt was beloved in the community according to many. His son is the mayor of Tompkinsville. Proffitt will be buried there on Friday.

Those close to the family say they are trying to get "killed in the line of duty" designation for Proffitt, because he was allegedly struck down due to his status as a law enforcement officer.

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