Law enforcement remembers legacy of Chief Bill Shaw

Published 7:30 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022

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The Covington County law enforcement community is mourning the loss of former Opp Police Chief and Covington County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Bill Shaw.

Former Opp Police Chief Bill Shaw

Shaw passed away at the age of 74 on Friday, March 11, in a Dothan hospital.

Shaw was a native of Florida before moving to Bullock County, Alabama. He began his career in transportation, which led him to Covington County where he began his law enforcement career as a jailer. He would become a CCSO deputy and later served as Chief Deputy in former Sheriff Don Harrell’s administration. He went on to serve as an investigator and chief investigator for the Opp Police Department before becoming the city’s police chief in 1999. He served the city as chief for 10 years, until November 2009.

“He was very knowledgeable. He was a very caring person. He handled the benevolence fund for the churches while he was chief. People would come in and see him, so he was constantly helping folks who were in need. Anything you needed, he would help,” said current Opp Police Chief Kevin Chance.

Shaw was serving as a criminal investigator when Chance joined the department. Former Opp Mayor Tony Moore appointed Shaw to serve as police chief.

“Even after he retired, he came in at least once a week or every two weeks to visit. He stayed connected to the department and to its employees. He really cared about the Opp Police Department and the Opp community.

“I remember going with him to an elderly gentleman’s house to help move furniture. Bill and I went over there and helped him with that. He just had a connection with the people of the community and anytime he saw that people needed help or assistance he would step in and help, or find a way to help them,” Chance said.

Covington County Sheriff Blake Turman said Shaw had a great influence with the younger generation of peace officers.

“He was a giant of a man both in size and character. He was a mentor of mine and his advice and life experiences molded many officers into what they are today,” Turman said.

Services for Shaw will be held Wednesday, March 16, 10 a.m., at Wyatt Funeral Home Chapel. There will be no graveside service. A visitation was held Tuesday night with the Opp Police Department and Covington County Sheriff’s Office serving as an honor guard.

“He’s going to be truly missed by the men and women of this department who have become close to him over the years. He had a wealth of knowledge and would always ask about the department and if we needed anything. You could tell he truly cared about this department,” Chance said.