E-911 honors local law enforcement officers

Published 12:23 am Wednesday, September 16, 2015

CCSO Investigator Wesley Snodgrass and Lance Price during lunch at E-911 Tuesday.         Kendra Majors/Star-News

CCSO Investigator Wesley Snodgrass and Lance Price during lunch at E-911 Tuesday. Kendra Majors/Star-News

In an effort to say “thank you” in a time when there’s ever-growing tension between law enforcement officials and different realms of society, Covington County E-911 held an appreciation luncheon for the officers it serves.

E-911 Director Kristi Stamnes said they just wanted to honor the law enforcement for the job they do every day.

“They are out there putting their lives on the line to protect and serve,” she said. “This is just a small way we can express our gratitude.”

To date in 2015, 87 law enforcement officers have been killed. Of those, 28 have been firearms-related, 38 traffic-related and 21 other causes, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

In Alabama, four have lost their lives in 2015.

Stamnes cited a story that hit the media earlier this month in which an Arby’s employee in Florida refused to serve a police officer.

Arby’s CEO Paul Brown apologized in a statement and offered to give any officer in the Miami area a free combo the following Friday.

On Monday, Kentucky law enforcement officials shot and killed a man suspected of killing a rookie Kentucky state trooper.

Covington County hasn’t been a stranger to officer-involved shootings this year.

In July, ALEA opened an investigation after Opp Police returned fire on a man, who eventually died.

“Upon arrival at the crash scene, witnesses advised that the vehicle operator of one of the involved vehicles left the scene fleeing on foot and was running westbound,” OPD chief Mike McDonald said at the time. “Opp officers made contact with the male adult on the eastbound side of the four-lane, just east of Leon Wiggins Road. The individual refused to remove his hands from his pants pocket and when he did, he produced a handgun, and refused to comply with the officers’ orders to put the gun down. The individual pointed the gun at the officers and fired at the officers and then charged at the officers.”

Officers from the Covington County Sheriff’s Office, Florala Police, Lockhart Police, Gantt Police, River Falls Police, Red Level Police, Drug Task Force, and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency were invited to lunch at the Command Center.

E-911 employees headed it up and Hook’s Bar-B-Q, South Alabama Regional Airport, Walmart, Andalusia Distributing Company, Crow’s Nest, Larry’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q, Winn-Dixie and Hilltop Meat Company donated the food.