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Huntsville Police Department remembers fallen officer one year later

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - On this day last year, Huntsville Police Officer Keith Earle died following two on-duty car crashes in the same day.

He had an unspecified medical condition that led to the crashes.

His death hit HPD hard.

The officers at the department's North Precinct say his death left a void in their precinct that will be hard to fill.

"I first met Officer Earle, Keith as I liked to call him, I think it was '95 when I first got up here," said Lt. Jesse Sumlin.

Earle was known as a selfless community servant. Always willing to go above and beyond for anyone who needed him.

"Many times when I first got here I didn't know a lot. You know I'm new to the job but he always had information, some kind of positive outlook," added Sumlin. "Even when you were off-duty and you saw him and you talked to him it was just a good spirit."

Earle worked his entire career, nearly 26 years, in north Huntsville, the same community he was born and raised in. And that served as an advantage.

"You could go on a call with him, somebody would know him. He would know the family, he would know the kids, he would know the grandmother," said Sumlin. "He just was that type of person and that personality, it just drew you to him."

He was a respected member of the force as well as the community.

Officers at the North Precinct say they go out into the community with Earle in their hearts each and every day.

"We miss him, we truly miss him."

The local Fraternal Order of Police lodge will honor Earle along with 22 other fallen officers in May.

Officer Earle will also be honored on the National Law Enforcement wall in Washington D.C. His family will attend the event in May.

 

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