Herbert Proffitt

Herbert Proffitt

Tompkinsville Police Chief Herbert Proffitt was 82 years old and retired after serving more than 50 years in law enforcement.

Proffitt was stalked, then murdered in retaliation for an arrest he had made many years earlier. He was shot when he walked out of his home to get his mail in August 2012.

The chief then stumbled inside and collapsed into the arms of his wife and grandson.

Since his felonious death occurred as a result of his service as a law enforcement officer, it is classified as a line-of-duty death.

Supporting Heroes was the first to formally recognize Proffitt's death as line-of-duty. 
And since it happened after he retired, many did not initially feel it should be considered as such. He has since been added to both the Kentucky Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Proffitt was an Army veteran served in the Korean War and started his law enforcement career as a police officer in Tompkinsville in 1957.

He served as police chief from 1962-1969, as sheriff from 1970-1974 twice more as chief from 1982-1994 and 1997-2000.

After his retirement in 2000, he again served with the Monroe County Sheriff's Department.

His father served as the Monroe County Jailer for approximately 50 years.

Proffitt is survived by his wife Bernice, son Jeff, a sister, and two grandchildren. His son Jeff was the mayor of Tompkinsville at the time of his death.

Proffitt's wife fell ill less than 36 hours after his death. She died four days later, before his funeral was held. The doctor said the only cause of death he could give was that "she died of a broken heart."

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