Lamar Palmer was born at home “out in the country” in Good Hope in 1933. He picked cotton, plowed mules, droves tractors on the family cotton farm, and attended school in Youth and Good Hope High School until tenth grade. “I was a farm boy, and loved it.” He rarely attended school in the fall as he was responsible for working the crops with his father. At that time, the school was moving to Monroe and he wasn’t happy about the idea of going to school with the “town folks”, so he and his friend Horace Head, chose to go into the Airforce and ended up in Texas at age 17. He served four years in the military during the Korean War and returned to an airfare base in Panama City, Florida after the war. “I thought I had died and went to heaven.” After his father became injured, he left the military and returned home to take care of his father’s crops with his brother.
In 1964, the captain of the Monroe City Police Department asked Lamar to serve as the seventh police officer on the force because to his military background. He became Captain and they grew the police department “from nothing to one of the best thought-of police departments around here.” Monroe was one of the first small towns in Georgia to have certified police officers before it was mandatory to have them, in part because of George Hearn’s leadership in the National Guard. In 1974, he joined the County Sheriff’s Department and became a Major. He was a classified crime scene expert photographer. Lamar had planned to retire in 1996, but he became interim sheriff following the death of the current sheriff and served in that role until 2000. After that, he served as a county commissioner for twelve years. He spent 50 years in public service.