MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — In the last 13 months, seven Alabama law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty.
Now, Attorney General Steve Marshall is calling on the public and lawmakers to support law enforcement.
“We need our local law enforcement to be engaged in our neighborhoods, stopping the bad guys, and fostering a safe environment for the good ones,” Marshall said during a press conference in Montgomery Wednesday.
During the press conference, Marshall was joined by the heads of police departments who have lost officers in the line of duty, as well as those who echo his message.
“What do they really think that they’re going to gain by using a weapon on a law enforcement officer? are they going to temporarily run, they’re going to be caught. and as general marshall said, they’re either going to spend the rest of their life in prison, or they’re going to face the death penalty,” said Bill Partridge, chief of the Oxford Police Department.
Those that have been killed in the line of duty last year and the first couple of months of 2020 include:
-Sgt. Wytasha Carter, Birmingham Police Department,
-Ofc. Sean Tuder, Mobile Police Department
-Ofc. William Buechner, Auburn Police Department
-Ofc. Dornell Cousette, Tuscaloosa Police Department
-Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams
-Ofc. Billy Fred Clardy III, Huntsville Police Department
-Ofc. Nick O’Rear, Kimberly Police Department
Soon, the Alabama Legislature will begin debating criminal justice bills and some lawmakers are concerned that the wrong people could be released.
“We don’t have an incarceration problem in the state of Alabama,” Rep. Allen Treadaway said. “We’ve got a crime problem, and we got to get our hands around that. We have to deal with that and until we can figure that out, we have to have a place to put folks who are committing some of the worst crimes out here on the street.”
Treadaway, who is also assistant police chief at the Birmingham Police Department, said that this legislative session, there could be bills introduced to protect law enforcement while they are on the job.