HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)– Law enforcement were honored at the Law Enforcement Appreciation Banquet presented by the Exchange Club of Greater Huntsville on Tuesday.
It was a chance for the club members to say “thank you” to those who may not usually hear it.
“It’s important because of the things that are going on around the country, all the negative publicity that we’re getting in law enforcement just from bad, mis-steps by a few people,” said Major Charles Ward, Chief of the Highway Patrol with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. “I think it’s very important to recognize the officers, to let them know they’re appreciated by the community.”
He said it really makes a difference.
“When people walk up and say thank you for what you do, it gives you that energy to keep doing what you’re doing because somebody in this world appreciates it, what you’re doing. Even if sometimes it looks like people don’t appreciate it anymore.”
In his speech to attendees, he urged them to stay strong and humble, continuing with a service mindset.
Those honored were:
- Officer Eric Watkins (Huntsville Police Department); described by Chief Mark McMurray as a man with a true spirit of community service, who volunteers and undertakes numerous speaking engagements and understands the value of community policing
- Det. Corporal Michael Enfinger (Madison Police Department); described by Sergeant Anderson as a family man who is a true leader and continues to shine in the department as a person of honor
- Deputy Sheriff Matthew Scratchard (Madison County Sheriff’s Department); described by Sheriff Blake Dorning as a deputy who drives others to make themselves better, is instrumental in key investigations, and now trains other officers to be the same way and always strive for perfection
- Trooper Robert Wyke (Alabama State Troopers); described by Sgt. James Wharton as a veteran and Huntsville native who has excelled in many areas of the Troopers and now works on Highway Patrol as a true asset to that department and quickly learned to excel there
- Special Agent Julie Miller (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives); described by Lucas Iverson as a real professional who excels in dismantling firearms trafficking rings and helps seize firearms off the street
- Special Agent Tracy Cunningham (Federal Bureau of Investigation); described by Special Agent Darren Mott as someone who is relied upon to handle a heavy caseload in counterintelligence and cyber, a backbone of his division
Exchange Club members tell us it’s important to them to honor law enforcement as protectors of the community.