Morton Marshall Ford III was born September 18, 1946 in Ronceverte, W.Va., the son of Mary Louise and Morton Marshall, Jr. Known to his family as Marty, he grew up in Newark, Ohio, and joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1965. He served in the Vietnam War and was promoted to the rank of sergeant before being honorably discharged in 1969.
On December 21, 1969, Morty, as he would be known to his fellow officers, joined the Alexandria Police Department and began serving as a patrol officer.
Around 6 p.m. on November 26, 1974, then Officer Ford responded for a reported robbery at the State Alcoholic Beverage Control store at 901 North Saint Asaph Street. Officer Ford notified headquarters that he could see two subjects running toward a parking lot on Montgomery Street. He was joined by Officers Ken Howard and James Ammons, all arriving in separate cruisers. As they approached, they were fired upon by occupants in a white vehicle. Officers Ford and Howard rammed the suspect vehicle and all officers returned fire. Officer Ford suffered a gunshot wound to the chest before two suspects were apprehended.
Officer Ford was transported to Alexandria Hospital as was one of the suspects who was shot in the gunfight. Jesse Brewer, 50, later died of his injuries, and a third suspect was apprehended a couple days later. Jewell Holmes, 42, and Michael Leon Jones, 21, were charged with attempted murder and robbery.
Officer Ford underwent surgery and received multiple blood transfusions but initially survived the shooting and was able to return to duty several months later. But he suffered serious health problems and it was discovered that he had contracted Hepatitis C from infected blood in a transfusion.
He was later promoted to the rank of sergeant and enjoyed a successful career, serving mostly in the Vice-Narcotics Section. Sergeant Ford retired from the Alexandria Police Department on September 18, 1996.
Sergeant Ford’s health continued to deteriorate and in early 2011, he was diagnosed with liver cancer as a result of Hepatitis C. Sergeant Ford died on June 18, 2011, and was survived by his brother Gary and sisters Lois and Connie. He is buried at Wallace Memorial Cemetery in Clintonville, W.Va.