The Town of Smyrna suffered a great loss with the passing of Sally Brittian Walls. Sally was a trailblazer in every sense of the word. If I’m not mistaken she was the first female assistant police chief in our great state. She was the first female police officer in Smyrna and possibly the entire county and she served on the Smyrna Town Council.
Growing up next door to her and spending much of my childhood at her home I and many others were afforded the opportunity to see her tenacity and can-do attitude, especially when she decided to become a police officer. I recall her husband the late Major Walls constructing a 6-foot wall so should could practice climbing over it while she was attending the police academy. As a young boy, possibly 10 years of age I watched her tenacity to continue to try and climb that wall. That wall in my mind served as a metaphor to keep climbing even against the odds and never give up.
Smyrna Fire Chief Bill Culbertson writes on Facebook,
“Commissioner Sally Walls thank you for all you did for me, our department, and our community.”
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
With the odds against her Sally kept on fighting and believing in herself. Although, like all of us she wasn’t perfect, but she was a great example of the American Dream — with a spirit of dogged determination.
“Sally Walls was a trailblazer and before her time in law enforcement. She understood the value of education and training in police work. She allowed an expanded field training program to begin at the police department that is still used today. Over 60% of the officers at Smyrna Police have college degrees and Sally had a role in that. And she was the first administrator to get officers specialized training” ~ Smyrna Police Chief Kevin Arnold
“So sad with the loss of Sally Walls. I’ve known her most of my life. She will be dearly missed-she was an amazing woman” ~ Rhonda Jessee Russell Hood
“I worked at both the Smyrna Country Club and Smyrna Woodshed with Sally we were close friends. I remember onetime that a loved one of mine had passed away and I didn’t have the money to attend the funeral. Sally gave me the $100 and I flew out there, that was the first time I had ever flown on an airplane. I was always grateful for that, I later paid her back” ~ Jane Jessee
“Lost a Friend, a woman with great determination and strong will who left a legacy to our community Will be a shining example to her family and friends rest in peace” ~ Trish Nash
“Smyrna lost a real trailblazer with Mrs. Wall’s passing. she had a strong positive impact on Smyrna’s law enforcement” ~ Keith Bratcher
“Sally and her family have been such an asset to our Smyrna community. Sally defined the word “service”to the Town of Smyrna. We will Miss Sally tremendously. She leaves us with fond memories of care and respect “ Smyrna Vice-Mayor Marc Adkins
“When Stan and I moved to Smyrna in the mid 80’s, Sally was one of the first people we met. Her brother, Bill (PeeWee), and Stan worked together at Yellow Freight. She gave us the warm Smyrna, TN welcome, as she had a genuine love for people. Sally was a Trailblazer for women in the Town, standing for justice with upmost integrity. She will definitely be missed” ~ Lori North, former Smyrna Councilman
The countless lives that she touched, helping many of us with our first jobs, inviting folks to her dinner table and teaching many life lessons — Sally never forgot where she came from.
My former boss, who was so much more than that, she was a mentor, a friend, and sometimes when she made sure I was taking the right path in my life, and career, she felt like a mom.
You taught this old cop a great deal about law enforcement, people, and life too when I was just a young rookie.
God bless you, Sally, you made a tremendous difference in so many lives, and I’m so grateful that you were part of mine.
Rest peacefully Chief, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. I know that you and Jim are smiling together again.
“388 to 363, rest easy Chief, your service on Earth is complete, we will continue to take the watch from here, as you watch over us from Heaven” ~ Chief Deputy Keith Lowery
“I am sad to hear the news of Sally Wall’s passing. Women such as herself paved the road for others like me to become active in local politics” ~ Melisa Brown, La Vergne Vice-Mayor
Our world could use a few more Sally Walls today. Thank you Sally for the difference you made in this world, the lives you’ve touched — including my own. May you rest in peace…