Amherst County's First Black Deputy Hangs up his Badge

Amherst Co., VA - The Amherst County Sheriff's Office is losing an important member of its team.

The chief deputy and first black officer to join the department hung up his badge for good this month.

Major Alfred Rose started when racial tensions were high and the KKK was gaining popularity. Four decades later, he rose through the ranks and past all odds.

From the nursing home where he's recovering from a broken hip, Rose says his career in law enforcement almost didn't happen.

"I didn't think they would hire me...and they did," Rose said from his wheelchair.

40 years have ticked by since his first murder. The victim was a nine year-old girl who had also been raped.

Back in the early 1980s, no one could dodge those racial tensions. Rose worked security when the Ku Klux Klan marched through the center of his hometown.

"That was the most tense moment, one of the most tense moments of my career," he recalled.

Then, there was that white deputy, a fellow brother -- who refused to eat meals next to him. It wasn't until a search warrant erupted in gunfire that he finally acknowledged: friendship and danger should be colorblind.

"He walked out with the tray in his hands and he said, 'If we can die together or get killed together then we can eat together,'" Rose remembered.

He doesn't know what he'll do now that he's retired. He'd like something that deals with law enforcement. But only time will tell.