Athens Police Department hosts memorial for fallen officers

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ATHENS, Ala. – As part of National Police Week, the Athens Police Department hosted the annual Athens Police Memorial on the west side of the Limestone County Courthouse at the law enforcement monument on Thursday.

The monument contains the names of nine officers from Athens Police Department, Limestone County Sheriff’s Office and Alabama State Troopers who died in the line of duty.

“One of the hardest parts of this whole ceremony is hearing the End of Watch List,” Chief Floyd Johnson said, referring to the names of nine law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in Athens and Limestone County.

“It is the responsibly of this community to ensure that although these men have reached their end of watch, we never reach the end of our desire to honor the sacrifice they made for the citizens of Athens and Limestone County,” said city spokeswoman Holly Hollman.

“I remember exactly where I was when Officers Mims and Russell lost their lives in the line of duty. Those are the two my generation will remember. It still affects you when you think about it,” said Councilman Joseph Cannon, referring to the 2004 shooting deaths of Athens Officer Tony Mims and Sgt. Larry Russell.

End of Watch for Limestone County

Athens Police Department

● Bedford F. Brackeen

End of Watch: March 24, 1941

Brackeen was sitting in a patrol car with his partner at the old bus stop at Clinton Street when a man approached their car and started an argument about a prior incident. The man pulled out a revolver and opened fire. Brackeen exited the car and exchanged shots. Brackeen was shot three times but still attempted to chase the suspect before collapsing. The suspect was arrested near Nashville and convicted of first-degree murder.

● Billy Daly

End of Watch: Dec. 22, 1964

Daly was on his police motorcycle when a vehicle struck him at U.S. 31 and Forrest Street. He had been with the department for two years.

● Lt. Benton McLemore

End of Watch: March 7, 1969

A suspect shot and killed McLemore after the officer responded to the suspect’s house to check on his welfare. The suspect was known to be mentally ill and shot McLemore with a shotgun after the officer knocked on the door. The suspect killed himself before capture.

● Dewey Wayne Dorsey Sr.

End of Watch: Feb. 11, 1989

Dorsey died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident while transporting blood to Athens-Limestone Hospital. The hospital treated and released Dorsey, but a blood clot developed and killed him.

● Sgt. Larry Wayne Russell and officer Tony Mims

End of Watch: Friday, Jan. 2, 2004

The men responded to a 911 call made by a man with a history of mental illness. The man opened fire as each officer pulled into the driveway, killing Mims first and Russell second. The bullets pierced their vehicles and bulletproof vests. The suspect died in prison.

Limestone County Sheriff’s Office

● Chief Deputy James Henry Eubank

End of Watch: Thursday, June 13, 1918

A suspect shot and killed Eubank while he searched a house for a weapon.


● David E. Temple

End of Watch: Sept. 13, 1979

A man shot and killed Temple after the officer pulled up to him in Limestone County in an attempt to arrest him for a car lot robbery in Decatur. The man leaned out of his car and opened fire on Temple. The man then got out of the car and walked to where Temple lay on the ground and shot him several more times. The suspect fled the scene and led police on a chase through Madison. Police shot and killed him after he wounded another officer.

● Simmie L. Jeffries

End of Watch: Friday, Dec. 21, 1984

Jeffries died from an accident when his patrol car collided with a tractor-trailer in Limestone County.

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