SALUDA COUNTY, SC (WIS) - On Monday morning, on all sides of Saluda Baptist Church were squad cars from all corners of the state.
Deputies, troopers, agents, and officers showed up to the church for the same reason: to pay their respects to a fallen brother.
"He obviously was a man of service, not only a deputy but he also volunteered to work the bloodhounds and the patrol dogs, but he also was a volunteer firefighter," said Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster.
His name was Dale Hallman. His friends and family member described him as a gentle family man, a pro K-9 handler, and a skilled corporal with the Saluda County Sheriff's Office – the kind of deputy who even made an impression with the neighboring sheriff, Foster.
"Well, I'd met him before. Newberry and Saluda's really close together. I had met him before. We had been on some calls over here with him and he was
just a fine, upstanding young man," Foster said.
On Friday, Hallman wrecked a bloodhound truck while responding to a search for an armed man. He died in the hospital that morning.
"Well, it's a terrible tragedy in any community to lose a law enforcement officer because a law enforcement officer is a person that's sworn to uphold
the Constitution and protect and defend all the citizens," Foster said.
It's a terrible tragedy even harder to bear in a community so small – a community where Hallman was more than a deputy and volunteer firefighter.
He grew up here, went to school here, and had started to raise a family here. Even though he's gone, his friends say his spirit is still very much alive – along with their memories of the 29-year-old who wore a big smile.