Service honors fallen officers of law

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 20, 2011

Among those gathered Thursday on the Court Square were Lex Short, Max Smith, Chase Phillips and Jackie Woods.

Since 1965, seven Covington County law enforcement officers have given their lives in the line of duty.

On Thursday, members of the public, the law enforcement community, city government and the legal profession gathered on the Court Square in honor of National Law Enforcement Memorial Day to pay tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of public service.

The Rev. Graham Tucker and the Rev. Dale Sallans opened the program, followed by Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson.

“We have been fortunate to have gone through the year without the loss of a brother or sister in law enforcement,” Johnson said. “Most people don’t understand that (officers) are out there on the job to protect us, the general public, and the fact that (officers) have families back at home who are worried about the safety of their loved one.

“We can’t express to you how much we appreciate your sacrifice to protect this county,” he said.

District Attorney Walt Merrell described the day as a “proud but solemn occasion.”

”I want the families of the men whose names are inscribed on that marker (in front of the courthouse) to know that we never take for granted the sacrifice their loved ones gave,” he said.

Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams said he has noticed an alarming trend in the number of officers killed by violent offenders within the last 18 months.

“Always remember that we enter this profession knowing that we might be required to make the ultimate sacrifice,” Williams said.

The program ended with the reading of the names of those who lost their life in the line of duty – Sgt. Raymond Carlson, 1965; Brooks Lawson, 1969; Kenyon Lassiter, 1974, all Alabama State Troopers; APD officer David Campbell, 1984; Alabama Beverage Control Board agent Troy Woodall, 1990; Red Level police officer Hubert Anderson, 2003; and Covington County Sheriff deputy Brandon Lassiter, 2004.