HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Huntsville Police Department is extending its gratitude to a Philadelphia police officer for a portrait of fallen officer Billy Clardy III.
It is the third portrait he’s done in recent weeks of fallen members of law enforcement in Alabama, and the seventh this year.
Jonny Castro, a forensic composite artist, uses his artwork to pay tribute to officers who have died in the line of duty.
He posts the portraits on his Facebook page and sends one to the department.
His description for Clardy reads:
"'Many people in the community knew and respected him. Not just because of his badge, but because of his kind heart'.
On Friday, members of the Alabama’s Strategic Counterdrug Team (a task force made up of highly trained and experienced narcotics officers from numerous law enforcement agencies) were conducting an operation where a known drug dealer and convicted felon was set to deliver a large amount of narcotics on the front porch of a residence. Just as the male made the drop, members of the STAC team moved in to make the arrest. The suspect immediately pulled out a handgun and fired on Agent Billy Clardy III. The round hit the officer just outside of his body armor and struck his heart. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
Billy had served the citizens of Alabama for nearly two decades, spending the last 14 years with the Huntsville Police Department. He was a highly decorated officer who received 19 commendations throughout his career for his outstanding police work. Billy worked his way up through patrol until becoming a community relations officer where he worked closely with those that lived in Huntsville. He later earned a spot on HPD’s first Anti-Crime Team before being requested to become a STAC Agent because due to his knowledge and experience in working drug operations. Prior to his time in law enforcement, Billy proudly served his country in the U.S. Army. He leaves behind a wife and five children. Billy was 48-years old.
The Clardy family have served and continue to serve the citizens of Alabama with honor and distinction. Billy’s father, Bill Clardy Jr. was also a Huntsville Police Officer who gave his life in the line of duty in 1978. Billy’s son will soon continue the family tradition of serving in law enforcement by becoming a Police Officer in Alabama."
A memorial fund for the Clardy family has been set up at Redstone Federal Credit Union. You can donate at any branch under the Billy Clardy Memorial Fund.