State and national leaders are reacting to the death of Huntsville police officer Billy Clardy III, who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Friday.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey: “I am grieved to hear of the Huntsville Police Officer killed in the line of duty and extend my deepest sympathies and prayers to his family for their unimaginable loss. It has been an exceptionally tough year for our law enforcement community, and this will be felt across our state. I will also be praying for strength for the Huntsville Police as they grieve the loss of their fellow officer, as well as for their continued protection as they keep us safe. May the Lord’s peace that passes all understanding be with the family and everyone who loved this dedicated officer.”
President of The Huntsville Fraternal Order of Police Donny Shaw says the "Executive Board and membership will have our fallen police officer brother and his family in our thoughts and prayers, as well as the entire Huntsville Police Department and Madison County law enforcement community.The FOP will stand ready for whatever the department, coworkers, family and friends ask of us in assistance. This tragedy serves as a reminder of the dangers law enforcement face daily! The National FOP stresses enough is enough, the attacks on our law enforcement officers has to stop!"
State Representative Robert Aderholt tweeted: "Please join me in praying for the law enforcement officer shot this afternoon in Huntsville, the officers family and fellow officers. #ThinBlueLine"
Decatur Police tweeted: "Tonight, we mourn with our neighbors in this darkest hour and offer our unwavering support to Huntsville Police Department. We are forever thankful for the service of the officer and for the immeasurable sacrifice they gave to the city and community they protected."
U.S. Attorney Jay Town released the following statement: “All of Alabama is heartbroken again as another Alabama peace officer is gunned down in the line of duty. The Huntsville Police Department investigator, whose name will be released tomorrow, will always be remembered as a good man and a fine officer. Those of us who knew him admired his dedication and professionalism. We must now direct our prayers to his grieving family and pull together in full support of the Huntsville Police Department and law enforcement everywhere who lost another brother of the badge tonight. I am beyond grief.”
Muscle Shoals Police Department: "Our prayers go out to the Huntsville Police Department and the family of the Officer killed in the line of duty today."
Lawrence County Sheriff's Office: "Tonight we pause; It is with great sadness we learn yet again we have lost a fellow officer. Please pray for the family, friends, and fellow officers of the Huntsville Police Officer killed in the line of duty this afternoon."
The Alabama House Republican Caucus: “The Alabama House Republican Caucus joins countless Alabamians across the state in praying for the Huntsville police officer who was killed in the line of duty today. His family, his friends, and all of the men and women who wear a uniform in service of others remain in our prayers, as well. Putting your life on line each day you simply go to work takes a special kind of courage that few possess, and we are forever indebted to those who enforce the rule of law and maintain order in our cities, state, and nation. The fact that several members of the House Republican Caucus, including Speaker Mac McCutcheon, are current or former law enforcement officers makes today’s tragic loss even more personal and profound.”
Madison County Commission Chairman Dale W. Strong: "The City of Huntsville and Madison County are devastated with the loss of a friend and law enforcement officer killed this evening in the line of duty. Tonight many of his law enforcement brothers and sisters must go back to the streets and continue to protect our community. For those that attempted to save his life, we are deeply grateful. For those that continue to patrol our streets and stand between good and evil, we pray for each of you and your families. On behalf of all of Madison County, we proudly stand with law enforcement, and pray for the officer, their family, HPD, and our entire community for our collective loss."
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle: With the loss of Officer Clardy, all of us lost a little bit of life yesterday. Clardy was the first officer I rode with after being elected Mayor, and I’ll never forget his spirit, his selfless dedication to this City and his true talent as an officer. Officer Clardy was an exemplary Community Resource Officer with a special emphasis of taking care of the homeless. In addition to being a member of the STAC team, Officer Clardy was a key member of HPD’s Anti-Crime team. He was a great example of the heart and soul of being a police officer. We stand united as a City, as a State and as a Nation in support of the Huntsville Police Department and the Clardy family.
Council President Devyn Keith: We stand in solidarity with the Huntsville Police Department and the Clardy family. Every day the citizens of Huntsville reap the benefit of our incredible and professional police force. I implore everyone to not take for granted law enforcement’s lives, sacrifice or commitment to their community. I had the honor of meeting Officer Clardy when he was a Community Resource Officer. He went beyond the badge to get to know his community and served with the greatest professionalism and dedication. The City of Huntsville has lost a true hero.
Council Member Jennie Robinson: Just this week at our City Council meeting, we recognized and welcomed over 20 new police officers joining the Huntsville Police Department family. Family is what I think of when tragedies like this happen. My son-in-law is a police officer, and since I heard the news, I can’t stop imagining what Officer Clardy’s mother and family must be experiencing right now. Officer Clardy and his loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice. The City of Huntsville and the Council will honor that sacrifice in every way we can.
Council Member Frances Akridge: We are eternally grateful to Officer Clardy for his dedication to the Huntsville Police Department, the City of Huntsville and the fight for good above evil to keep our neighborhoods safe. I echo what my colleague Devyn Keith said - if you see an officer, give them a hug. Look them in the eye. Get to know them. They work on our behalf day in and day out and deserve our respect. My thoughts are with Officer Clardy’s family and with the Huntsville Police Department, the most professional and compassionate PD in the nation.
Council Member Bill Kling: The City lost a hero last night. To say being a police officer is tough job is an understatement. It’s a job for heroes. Each time the men and women of law enforcement put on their shoes and tighten their laces, there’s always a chance they won’t come home. How do you even begin to show appropriate gratitude for that level of sacrifice? The Huntsville City Council will do everything we can for the officer’s family and for the HPD family to get through this as a united community.
Council Member Will Culver: The Huntsville Police Department lost a friend and a brother last night. There are few words that can adequately capture the devastation of this loss, so let me just say this: we are unified in lifting up the Clardy family and our entire police department in this dark time. The Huntsville Police Department serves each of us every day. Now it’s our turn to serve them which can be as simple as thanking the next police officer you see or lending a prayer to our HPD family as they navigate such an unthinkable loss.
City of Decatur/Decatur Police Department: The City of Decatur is devastated by the loss of a Huntsville PD Officer. We mourn with our neighbors in this darkest hour and offer our unwavering support to the City of Huntsville and the Huntsville Police Department.
“Our job is not an easy one. The risks are real, and it takes a person of great bravery and courage to serve each day as an officer. The loss of our fellow first responder in blue is insurmountable and tragic. We are forever thankful for every moment of their service and their immeasurable sacrifice to the city they protected,” says Chief Nate Allen.
“Words could never express our sorrow today. The officer served their city well and with unmatched valor. The City of Decatur stands beside the City of Huntsville now and always,” says Mayor Bowling.
The Madison County Democratic Party: “Our hearts go out to the family of Officer Clardy, HPD, and our entire Madison County community. The tireless courage of local law enforcement keeps us safe, and sustains and enhances our quality of life. I join my fellow elected officials and community leaders in offering my support for Officer Clardy’s family,” said Rep. Anthony Daniels, chair, Madison County Democratic Executive Committee. Words cannot express the community’s gratitude each citizen feels towards every officer who puts their life on the line for our safety every day, and for the families they leave to grieve their memory."