HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — From Baltimore to Madison, Ferguson to Hattiesburg, and many incidents in between, all eyes have been on men and women in uniform.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re an officer here in Huntsville, Alabama or an officer in Hattiesburg, Mississippi you all face the same things from day to day,” said Huntsville Police Department Spokesman Lt. Darryl Lawson.
National Police Week is celebrated around the country each year to give agencies a time to honor those who lost their lives in the line of duty. For them, it’s about who they were, with and without the badge.
“Not only to remember who they were as police officers but always remember who they were as husbands, fathers, sons, daughters,” Lt. Lawson said.
Ten Huntsville police officers have been killed in the line of duty. Most recently, Daniel Golden died in 2005 and Eric Freeman died in 2007. Golden was killed responding to a domestic dispute on Jordan Lane. Freeman was shot in the head while responding to a traffic stop on Bailey Cove Road. Just after Freeman’s shooting, a former brother in blue stepped in to help.
“There was a retired Huntsville police officer that actually helped subdue the person that shot Eric Freeman,” Lt. Lawson said.
Regardless of where these police-involved incidents occur, officers say defending the thin blue line is a mission that unites them all.
“It’s like losing a family member,” Lt. Lawson said. “You work with these people, you know them, you do the same job that they do so when their life is taken in the line of duty it really impacts you.”
In 2014, 117 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty.