Officer#039;s death reminds us even they are mortal

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 7, 2006

Thursday's shooting of a Montgomery police officer reminded us how fragile the thin blue line really is.

MPD officer Keith E. Houts, 30, was shot in the head during a routine traffic stop. He died on Saturday.

Oftentimes, we take our police officers for granted. We believe they are more than human – invincible men and women who place themselves in the line of fire for the benefit of you and your family. They are pledged to serve and protect and the majority live up to this responsibility admirably. But over 436 police officers in Alabama have given their lives in service to the public.

Houts' death also reminds us how close we were to losing two of our own officers earlier this year when an attacker opened fire at a hotel on I-65.

Houts had served two years as a Montgomery police officer. Like many whose chosen profession is law enforcement, Houts had also served in the United States military and was a veteran of the Operation Iraqi Freedom. He leaves behind a wife and the thousands of brothers and sisters who wear a badge.

As of Monday, over four pages of condolences had been offered for Houts on the Internet memorial web site Officer Down (

We send our condolences to Houts' family, the Montgomery Police Department and the City of Montgomery during their time of grief.