WARRIOR, Ala. (WIAT) – Police officers and lawmakers are raising concern after three police officers were shot in Alabama in less than 24 hours. All were shot in the line of duty.
They worry instances like these will continue to make it more difficult to recruit officers – even more than it already is now. But they do say although recruiting is down and retirements are up by staggering numbers, officers will continue to wear their badges and put their lives on the line to protect the community.
“It’s alarming,” former Assistant Birmingham Police Chief and now representative Allen Treadaway said. “We’re seeing this trend happen all over the country and I think everybody needs to be alarmed by it.”
Treadaway said we are seeing an increase of assaults and attacks on police officers.
“We’ve demonized the profession as a whole,” Treadaway said. “We’ve taken a few incidents and we’ve used a broad brush painting the profession as a whole and it’s having an impact.”
Officials said is making officer down calls like Thursday night’s in Warrior even more common.
“It’s hard to want to go into a profession where you feel like you are not being supported, especially a profession where you put your life on the line every day to serve a community,” Alabama Fraternal Order of Police President Everette Johnson said.
Johnson said his team supports officers across the state – mentally and physically – because at the end of the day, an officer wants to give back to the community.
“This job is more than just a job, it’s a calling, a profession that you have to have a servant’s heart to do,” Johnson said. “Law enforcement is now becoming a victim of a problem within our society that violence is okay to solve issues.”
“You’re talking about two cities, side-by-side, that virtually never see crime, but this can happen anywhere, that’s what it tells you it can happen anywhere,” Treadaway said. “I personally think it’s going to get worse before it gets better. We’ve got to support our police officers; we’ve got to give them the resources and we’ve got to stop all of this nonsense and ridiculous defunding of police.”
Both men are asking for a change in narrative and to thank officers in your community for their hard work when you see them. Treadaway said he is working on legislation to increase fines and penalties for people who assault officers.