CPD reflects on ‘safe year’ during National Police Week

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, May 16, 2018

It is National Police Week — a time centered each year around May 15, the nationally recognized Peace Officer Memorial Day for America’s fallen heroes in blue.

This year, the recognition extends from May 13 to May 19, honoring law enforcement officers for their dedication and sacrifices to keeping their communities safe.

“We have been blessed with a safe year and ask for the continued thoughts and prayers of our citizens to help protect our officers from harm,” Keith Maddox, Chief of the Clanton Police Department, said. “They have a very dangerous job that few can truly understand, unless they have been connected to an officer through family or work in some area of public safety or the military.”

Peace Officer Memorial Day was instituted in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy via a proclamation honoring “federal, state and local law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty,” according to Maddox.

For the past 37 years, the U.S. has honored its fallen police with an annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on May 15, held this year on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.

Among this year’s selected speakers were President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who paid tribute to nearly 200 fallen police officers, according to news sources.

Maddox said that while injuries are not uncommon repercussions to police work, the last Clanton officer he recalls being killed in the line of duty was Richard Buckner in 1991. Buckner died in a traffic accident while responding to a call.

“He gave the ultimate sacrifice and will always be remembered for his service,” Maddox said. “His portrait is in our lobby, and his name is inscribed on the wall of the Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.”

A recent vehicle pursuit resulted in a close call for Chilton County Deputy Edwin Freeman, whose injuries from the incident required more than 30 staples in his head and 20 stitches in his elbows.

“We see many traumatic things over time in our job, but this is our chosen profession,” Maddox said. “We are thankful for the opportunity to protect and serve the city of Clanton.”

Maddox said the community is fortunate to have the “hard-working group of men and women” at CPD that strives to keep it safe and secure.

“Thank you to the city of Clanton for providing them with the equipment they need to perform their duties and giving us the opportunity to help train and educate them to improve their job skills and increase theirs and the public’s safety,” Maddox said.

Maddox further extends thanks to the Clanton community for their thoughts and prayers for Clanton police.