BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The death of Huntsville police officer Garrett Crumby comes on the heels of last week’s deputy shooting in Shelby County.
Some former police officers and law enforcement families said the love of being a police officer is so great it can eclipse fears of the dangers on the job.
Alabama Fraternal Order of Police President Everette Johnson said what happened in Huntsville on Tuesday afternoon is a tragedy and something becoming all too familiar.
“Seems like it’s almost a daily basis that officers are assaulted and attacked and every other day, it seems like one is shot and killed,” Johnson said.
Former Alabaster police dispatcher Amanda Connell was working the night in 2009 when Pelham police officer Philip Davis was killed in what she says seemed like a “routine traffic stop.”
“There’s nothing routine in law enforcement,” Connell said. “You never know what you’re going to get when you walk up to a car, when you open a resident’s door, you don’t know, so you can only really prepare for the worst.”
Connell said mental health among police officers isn’t widely talked about but is something that should be encouraged.
“I feel like a lot of these officers they either don’t have the resources or they aren’t told enough it’s OK to speak out and it’s OK to not be OK,” Connell said.
Danielle Lawrence is with the non-profit organization Alabama Concerns of Police Survivors, or Alabama C.O.P.S. She remembers her father, a Mobile police officer killed in the line of duty in 2004, never letting on if he was scared or nervous of going into work.
“He was like superman,” Lawrence said. “I really grew up thinking he would never, nothing would ever happen to him. He was going to be here forever, like never, ever in a million years thought anything would ever happen to him.”
Many in the police community and police survivors said the pain officer Crumby’s family is feeling is something they wish they didn’t have to know. Alabama C.O.P.S. said it’ll be available to Crumby’s family to offer support and a shoulder to cry on whenever it’s needed.