With all that the nation and state have been through recently, what we cannot forget is another tragic murder of an Alabama police officer.
Moody Police Sergeant Stephen Williams was shot and killed in the line of duty two weeks ago after responding to a 911 call. Williams was posthumously promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
Over the past 16 months, there have been nine members of state law enforcement that have been killed in the line of duty, an unprecedented and tragic number for Alabama.
Violent attacks against public safety have not only increased across the nation these past few weeks, but years. Look at the attacks across our country that have left police officers injured and families suffering.
In addition, the violent rhetoric against police officers has gotten worse with some elected officials tacitly broad brushing the actions of some for all of law enforcement. Many cities around the country are now looking at defunding police office departments and reducing the number of officers. This misguided approach will harm those communities more vulnerable to the criminal element as police have less officers and tools to devote to the hardest-hit areas. We have seen what happens when police are not allowed to patrol, the void is filled with those that want to victimize innocent residents of those neighborhoods. Crime rates around the country have shot up and will continue to increase with efforts to limit the ability of police to protect the public.
Alabama citizens must work with state leaders to partner with public safety to protect against further violence that threaten those on the thin blue line. While other cities and states work against police, Alabama must ensure officers are given the resources to protect themselves and our communities.
Officers in Alabama have been vigilant and professional in the face of unprecedented pressure and they deserve our support now more than ever.
Other states may do differently, but Alabama must work harder to support law enforcement.
Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives