BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Over 500 fallen law enforcement officers from around the country will be honored and memorialized Saturday on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. Among those being added to the memorial: former Bibb County Sheriff’s Office deputy Brad Johnson.
Johnson’s partner, Deputy Chris Poole, is with the fallen deputy’s family in D.C. as they get ready to add his name to the memorial. Johnson was shot and killed in the line of duty last June. Poole also shot and injured.
“He was a hero, and he was just there when people needed him,” said Johnson’s oldest daughter Lana Johnson.
Poole said it’s important to him to be there and continue on the legacy of Johnson’s life.
“It’s been a difficult road,” Poole said. “Luckily, I’ve gotten to still be in contact with his precious girls, so it’s been an amazing thing.”
“I’m proud of him for being there for people and being a hero for others,” Lana Johnson said.
Poole said he and Johnson were friends before he got into law enforcement, and Johnson showed him what it meant to be an amazing deputy.
“His main thing was integrity,” Poole said. “What he’d done when no one was looking, which was always the right thing, said a lot about Brad and I plan on continuing to live that through his legacy.”
With so many family and friends gathered to remember their own fallen hero, Poole said it’s amazing to be surrounded by people who know how you’re feeling and what you’ve been through.
“We live in a world where a lot of people don’t understand what I’ve been through, what these kids have been through, what my kids have been through,” Poole said. “But here it seems like everybody understands and no matter who you talk to out here it’s like they understand, they’ve been through it.”
Poole said there’s a hole in the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office without Johnson, but that he will never be forgotten.
“It’s hard on all of us. There’s a person missing, and we’ll never get Brad back, but we’ll never forget Brad,” Poole said. “A part of him is always with us and as I’ve always said, he’ll always be a front seat rider with me.”
On Saturday night, the names added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial will be read out during a candlelight vigil. For a full list of all officers being honored, click here.