"Mr. Almond Turner is legendary and one thing I can say is legends never die. His legend will forever live on in this community.”
These were the words spoken by Newton County Board of Education member Shakila Henderson-Baker nearly two years ago after the tragic death of beloved Covington native Almond Turner.
Turner, age 69, was shot and killed Nov. 23, 2019, during a family gathering in Meridian, Mississippi.
Turner was a retired assistant police chief in Covington. At the time of his retirement in 2016, he was the city’s longest tenured employee with 45 years of service. He had been assistant chief since 1997.
At the time of his death, Turner was serving his sixth term as an elected member of the Newton County Schools Board of Education.
Turner was a graduate of R.L. Cousins High School. After high school, he attended Fort Valley State University to study music but later earned an associate degree in criminal justice at DeKalb Technical College (now Georgia Piedmont Technical College) and a Bachelor of Science from Troy University. He also graduated from the FBI National Academy in Virginia in 1982, and the Command College at Columbus State University in 2002.
He was a deacon at Springfield Baptist Church in Conyers, where he served on the Ministry Protection Team. As a lover of music and patron of the arts, Turner was a noted supporter of the Newton County Community Band.
During a candlelight vigil for Turner, Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown spoke of his life-long friendship with Turner, which began when the two started their law enforcement careers as beat cops with the Covington Police Department in 1972.
“Almond fought for everything that he achieved, it wasn’t given to him,” he said. “The life we chose required courage, not cowardice. We served the community at work and at home, and at church and in the neighborhood.”
Also a family man, Turner is survived by his wife, Anita; children, Dwahn, Shaye and Shundra; and several grandchildren. Shortly after Turner’s death, Dwahn spoke about is father’s involvement in the community and the love he shared.
“He was a great father. He taught me very well, and I am still striving to get to where he was,” he said. “That’s how great my father was. He was always involved in our lives. Not only that — in the community, everywhere he went, I went.”
To carry on Turner’s legacy and honor the life he lived, the Almond J. Turner Foundation was established to support local high school students by raising funds for scholarship opportunities. Foundation scholarships are designed to benefit deserving students pursuing college studies in law enforcement, music or education. The foundation also works with Police Who Care, which helps organize the annual Covington Police Department Fuzz Run of which Turner was a major supporter.