U.S. attorneys Jay E. Town, Louis V. Franklin, Sr. and Richard W. Moore released a statement recognizing the roles that law enforcement plays in protecting and serving the people of Alabama and recognizing the sacrifices that law enforcement officers sometimes pay to make our communities safer.
The three U.S. Attorneys “took time to stop, remember and recognize all federal, state and local law enforcement officers and pay tribute to their service and sacrifice. Law enforcement has the difficult and dangerous task of making our communities safer, while placing their own lives and well-being at risk.”
“Sadly, each year many officers make the ultimate sacrifice and give their lives in performance of their duties,” the statement continued. “In the state of Alabama, three officers have been shot and killed over the past year, with two of those deaths taking place just last month. Mobile Police Officer Sean Paul Tuder was shot and killed on Jan. 20, 2019, while attempting to serve an arrest warrant. Just a week before, on Jan. 13, 2019, Sergeant Wytasha Carter of the Birmingham Police, was also shot and killed attempting to make an arrest. Last year, Mobile Police Department Officer Justin Billa was killed while assisting in the apprehension of a murderer.”
“We know that law enforcement is the foundation of a safe community,” the U.S. Attorneys continued. “They work diligently each day to maintain order while risking everything for the greater good. Far too many are killed each year for simply doing their jobs. We must also never forget that it is not only the officers that deserve our respect and support, but their families as well. Officers always have our backs and we should always have theirs, including their loved ones.”
“Those willing to commit malicious acts of violence against members of law enforcement would not give a second thought to leveling that same violence against the rest of us,” Town said. “An attack on the men and women who wear the badge is an attack on the very foundations of our community and the sanctity of our cities. We should never forget that the line of duty is endowed by sacrifice, selflessness, and courage and we should all take care to honor those whose end of watch came much too soon.”
“A law enforcement officer begins each day uncertain as to whether he or she will be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his or her community,” Franklin said. “Too often, these daily acts of bravery go unnoticed. It should not take the tragic deaths of our officers for all of us to recognize the selfless sacrifices of law enforcement that take place each and every day.”
“An assault on a police officer is an assault on the rule of law and our democratic principles,” Moore said. “The citizens of Alabama have an interest in helping us to get the word out that you do not shoot a police officer. That needs to start at home and in our schools. This has become a national problem that all of us need to address together. The three U.S. Attorneys are committed to doing our part to ‘back the blue.’”
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page website, 11 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty thus far in 2019. Four were killed by gunfire. One was killed in a vehicular assault. Two were struck and killed by motorists. One died in a car crash. One died in a motorcycle crash. Two died from heart attacks. Additionally, three canine officers were killed in the line of duty. Two were killed by gunfire and one died from exposure to toxins.