Since 1791, over 26,000 Law Enforcement Officers have given their lives protecting freedom, justice, and the American way of life. This tragic loss of life is not foreign to the Pascagoula Police Department. Since the founding of the City of Pascagoula, three of Pascagoula's Finest and one heroic K9 have given their lives to preserve the peace and security of our community. "It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived." These courageous officers will forever live in our hearts and minds as we keep watch in their absence.
Jeffery Glenn Rugheimer
On 5/30/1970, Patrolman Jeffrey Rugheimer was struck and killed by a road paving machine while directing traffic on Highway 90 about 100 yards from the Litton Overpass. He served with the Pascagoula Police Department for 6 months. He was survived by his parents and four siblings.
Nathaniel Smith Jr.
On 5/22/1976, Major Nathaniel Smith Jr. was killed in an automobile crash at the intersection of Hanshaw Road and Old Highway 90 in Ocean Springs. He was returning from a security detail involving the First Lady of France when his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver. Major Smith was a U.S. Air Force veteran and served with the Pascagoula Police Department for 16 years. He was survived by his wife and three children.
T. Micheal Byrd
On 3/27/2006, Patrolman Micheal Byrd was killed in a motorcycle crash while on patrol in Pascagoula. He was thrown from his motorcycle after swerving to avoid a stopped car at the intersection of Chicot Street and Baltimore Avenue. After falling on the road, he was struck by a passing truck. He was transported to Singing River Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later. Patrolman Byrd served with the Pascagoula Police Department for 5 1/2 years. He is survived by his wife and child.
On 6/23/2022, K9 Exo was shot and killed in the Helena area of Jackson County while tracking a suspect involved in a shooting earlier in the day. As the suspect was located, he opened fire on K9 Exo and his handler. K9 Exo was struck twice during the shooting. His handler returned fire and wounded the man. K9 Exo was transported to a veterinary hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds. He served with the Pascagoula Police Department for 9 months.