Funeral held for Ider Police Chief who passed away after battling COVID-19

Northeast Alabama

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. – Eighteen months after the pandemic began, COVID-19 takes the life of yet another first responder.

After a month-long battle, Ider Police Chief Buddy Crabtree died over the weekend due to complications from COVID-19. 

Wednesday was a chance for loved ones to say their final goodbye to an officer who loved his community that he served for nearly a decade. 

Crabtree was a dedicated officer, who knew he wanted to serve on the police force by the age of 18. Chief Crabtree served as the police chief of Bridgeport before serving as chief of Ider for more than nine years.  

“We worked together very well. We always saw eye to eye and if we didn’t, we just worked it out,” said Ider mayor Wendy Lasseter.

Hundreds of mourners, family, friends, and members of law enforcement paid their respects for Chief Crabtree, who was hospitalized on October 9, at Highlands Medical Center in Scottsboro for treatment from the coronavirus. 

Weeks later, Crabtree was flown to Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and passed away on October 30. Ider mayor Wendy Lassiter says Chief Crabtree will be sorely missed. 

“It’s such a shock and a heartbreak for so many. I can’t tell you the people that reached out and talked about how they are going to miss him.” 

Collinsville Police Chief Rex Leath says that supports an officer’s right to choose whether or not to get the COVID vaccine. But officers dying overall due to COVID-19 is tough to comprehend. 

“I just read an article that there’s been more law enforcement officers killed as a result of COVID than there were killed in traffic accidents. So that’s just bad.” 

Mayor Lasseter says Chief Crabtree was such a huge impact on their community. He was loved by so many and will always be an integral part of their town.

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