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Legislators honor law enforcement officers – one posthumously

Local, county and state law enforcement officers were honored Thursday during a joint ceremony of the Alabama Legislature.

Among them was Deputy Chris Poole, partner of the late Deputy Brad Johnson – who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. 

Five other recipients of the Medal of Honor were State Trooper Charles May, Cpl. Derrick Riego of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Kel Roberts of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, and SRO Deputy Darrius Black of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. 

Saving lives while risking their own was the common thread among all honorees. 

“Things have changed a lot,” Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Hal Taylor said. “For those of us that wear the badge, I can’t thank you enough because of what you do.”

RELATED: ‘Brad Johnson was a hero’: Tributes pour in for fallen Bibb County sheriff’s deputy (2022)

Rep. Rex Reynolds, former Huntsville police chief and chair of the Medal of Honor committee, led the ceremony.

“Today we pause in honor of these recipients and are those that pay the ultimate sacrifice, those injured in the line of duty, and those that put their lives in danger to save others,” he said.

School Resource Officer Deputy Darrius Black prevented a tragedy in December when he became aware of a neighborhood shooting incident that may have involved one of his students. Deputy Black investigated and identified a suspect. He removed the student from class, searched him and found him to be in possession of a Glock pistol with a loaded clip. He was commended. 

State Trooper Charles May rescued a man who was reported missing in January 2022 while hunting in Bullock County. The hunter, David Washburn, was swept away in rushing water from a busted beaver dam. Trooper May secured a boat and traveled to Washburn’s last known location. And, using his extensive knowledge of the area, found Washburn and brought him to safety.

RELATED: State officials honor National Police Week 

Last June, Bibb County Deputies Brad Johnson and Chris Poole were shot during the pursuit of a stolen vehicle. Johnson, 32, was killed by the suspect, leaving behind a fiancé and two young children. On Thursday, the family was present during the ceremony where Deputy Johnson was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Grayson Everett is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270 for coverage of the 2023 legislative session. 

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