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Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall: Don't forget sacrifice of our fallen police officers

Barely three weeks into the New Year – a time that is supposed to be full of optimism for the future – Alabama has already reached a somber milestone.

Posted: Jan 23, 2019 5:12 PM

Attorney General Steve Marshall sent this opinion piece Wednesday reflecting upon the tragic loss of two Alabama police officers within nearly a week’s time:

Barely three weeks into the New Year – a time that is supposed to be full of optimism for the future – Alabama has already reached a somber milestone. Our state is tied with Texas for the highest number of law enforcement line-of-duty deaths in the country for 2019.

Two Sundays in a row, major cities of our state suffered the sudden loss of a beloved police officer. Each officer was performing his sworn duty to protect the public and uphold the law when he was fatally struck down by gunfire. Both faced danger without hesitation and both acted with courage and commitment, just as they had been trained. And each gave his life.

The daily actions of our law enforcement personnel in the performance of their duties may seem routine work to the public, but they only see the outside. Behind the badge, polished shoes and friendly smile, stands a person dedicated to protecting the lives of Alabamians, even if their job places them directly in harm’s way.

While there are other occupations that can be hazardous to a worker, few demand that a person enter the unknown on a daily basis to face potential personal injury and even death. Why would anyone want to take on such a job? To those who train and take an oath to become a law enforcement officer, it is not a job. It is a calling. They do not seek fame and fortune. They wear a badge with pride out of a special commitment to safeguard their community.

And let us not forget the sacrifice of the families of law enforcement who wait up nights for their loved one’s return. They need no reminder of the too often perilous nature of the work of our men and women of law enforcement.

All of us want to live in peace and safety, but how many would be willing to walk the beat of a law enforcement officer to help guarantee that safety? Birmingham Police Sergeant Wytasha Carter and Mobile Police Officer Sean Tuder did just that.

At approximately 2:00 a.m., Sunday, January 13, Sergeant Carter was on the lookout for vehicle break-ins when he was notified of suspicious activity and responded along with other officers. Two persons were stopped in a parking lot and were being searched when one pulled out a gun and shot Sergeant Carter and another officer. Sergeant Carter lost his life that morning, but his 17 years’ service for the Birmingham, Leeds and Fairfield police departments and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office were celebrated by a tremendous public response. Alabama sends condolences to Sergeant Carter’s family.

At approximately 3:00 p.m., Sunday, January 20, Officer Tuder was attempting to serve an arrest warrant on a suspect in Mobile. During the arrest, the suspect shot and fatally wounded Officer Tuder, a three-year veteran of the Mobile Police Department who was previously honored as Officer of the Month. Prior to coming to Mobile, Officer Tuder served with the Palatka, Florida Police Department for two years. Officer Tuder’s funeral service is this Friday, and I am certain there will also be an overwhelming public turnout. His death is a painful reminder of the loss of another young Mobile police officer, Justin Billa, less than a year ago. I know I join all of Alabama in sending condolences to Officer Tuder’s family.

More than 500 Alabama law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty during the last 100 years of record keeping. Each is a hero. All gave everything so their communities could be safe. There is a high price to pay for putting on the uniform of a peace officer. This month, Alabama knows as much about the sacrifice of law enforcement as any state in America.

Law enforcement continues to take on more responsibility, sometimes with less manpower and funding. In addition to responding to calls of domestic violence, burglaries, armed robbery, assault, and drug trafficking-to name but a few-they also deal with homeland security concerns and the growing reach of cybercrime.

As the Attorney General and chief law enforcement official for the state of Alabama, it is my honor to stand with our law enforcement as they stand on a daily basis between order and chaos.

We cannot thank law enforcement enough for what they do for us, and we will never forget their sacrifice.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19676351
Mobile13373292
Montgomery8834184
Tuscaloosa8621118
Madison788178
Shelby597849
Lee589760
Baldwin547750
Marshall394343
Calhoun351544
Etowah349045
Morgan329228
Houston290321
Elmore266748
DeKalb241621
St. Clair232235
Walker231684
Talladega216629
Limestone210120
Cullman189920
Dallas179026
Franklin177129
Autauga176425
Russell17603
Lauderdale171333
Colbert164626
Blount161115
Escambia160824
Chilton158530
Jackson157511
Covington140127
Dale138644
Coffee13486
Pike119810
Chambers116442
Tallapoosa116085
Clarke109116
Marion96429
Butler91239
Barbour8827
Winston74412
Marengo72020
Pickens66214
Bibb65410
Lowndes65327
Randolph64713
Hale63528
Geneva6254
Lawrence62023
Cherokee60813
Bullock60414
Monroe5898
Clay5858
Washington55713
Perry5416
Crenshaw53732
Conecuh53511
Wilcox53111
Henry5055
Macon48018
Fayette4578
Sumter43819
Cleburne3805
Lamar3672
Choctaw34712
Greene30315
Coosa1713
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 190891

Reported Deaths: 2374
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30755458
Davidson26474306
Hamilton944394
Knox937879
Rutherford929389
Williamson525236
Sumner481998
Wilson347645
Putnam331540
Montgomery307044
Unassigned29495
Bradley293417
Out of TN289627
Madison287764
Sevier262315
Blount251624
Maury236124
Washington229736
Robertson221035
Sullivan216433
Hamblen191426
Tipton181819
Gibson165823
Trousdale16577
Hardeman157026
Wayne14975
Dyer137014
Bedford134517
Dickson125715
Coffee123613
Cumberland120118
Weakley118919
Fayette118819
Henderson118124
Anderson117913
Loudon11726
Obion117110
Carter116828
Greene115644
Jefferson111914
McMinn111925
Warren10617
Macon105521
Lawrence104313
Monroe103618
Hardin103016
Lauderdale98316
Franklin9699
Haywood96921
Lake9192
Roane8954
Carroll88920
McNairy88318
Bledsoe8544
White8379
Rhea83412
Hawkins81218
Cheatham80710
Marshall7565
Cocke7469
Overton7456
Smith72311
Johnson7112
Chester63210
Henry6259
Lincoln6191
Giles60717
Hickman5858
DeKalb56614
Crockett53819
Marion5298
Decatur5207
Fentress5053
Campbell4464
Claiborne4425
Polk38810
Grainger3763
Union3591
Benton3369
Jackson3265
Morgan3173
Grundy2915
Cannon2860
Unicoi2861
Humphreys2513
Sequatchie2332
Clay2265
Meigs2263
Houston2203
Scott2142
Stewart2042
Lewis2011
Moore1751
Van Buren1660
Perry1500
Pickett1162
Hancock1063

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