Alabama Attorney General honors fallen officers, law enforcement across the state

Alabama Attorney General honors fallen officers, law enforcement across the state
Fallen Tuscaloosa Police Officer Dornell Cousette (Source: Tuscaloosa PD)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) - Attorney General Steve Marshall honored Alabama’s fallen police officers Thursday as part of the 21st annual Law Enforcement Summit.

The event was held virtually because of the pandemic.

About 600 Alabama law enforcement officials took part.

The day included virtual instruction on law enforcement techniques and responses to the unique challenges facing officers as they strive to protect the public.

“We need our local law enforcement to be engaged in our neighborhoods, stopping the bad guys and fostering a safe environment for the good ones,” said Attorney General Marshall. “But that kind of policing must be supported and welcomed by the citizens for whom law enforcement serves. Sadly, good policing has become more and more difficult because of our culture and societal attitudes toward law enforcement.”

A somber highlight of the day came with the commemoration of seven fallen officers who lost their lives in the line of duty since last year’s summit:

• Investigator Dornell Cousette, Tuscaloosa Police Department

Investigator Cousette was shot and killed on September 16, 2019, while attempting to serve a warrant at the home of a subject who was wanted for failing to appear on prior felony charges. Investigator Cousette was a U.S. Army veteran and served with the Tuscaloosa Police Department for 13 years. He is survived by his two daughters and fiancée.

Lowndes County Sheriff Big John Williams was killed in a shooting Saturday night at a Hayneville gas station
Lowndes County Sheriff Big John Williams was killed in a shooting Saturday night at a Hayneville gas station (Source: Lowndes County Sheriff's Office)

• Sheriff John Williams, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Williams was shot and killed on November 23, 2019, while responding to a trespassing and noise complaint call at a convenience store in Hayneville. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Sheriff Williams served in law enforcement for more than 40 years. He is survived by his wife and children.

Source: WAFF
Source: WAFF (Source: WAFF)

• Agent Billy Clardy III, Huntsville Police Department

Agent Clardy was shot and killed on December 6, 2019, while participating in a narcotics operation with the Gulf Coast HIDA Task Force in Huntsville. A U.S. Army veteran, Agent Clardy served with the Huntsville Police Department for 14 years and had previously served with the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office, the Ardmore Police Department, and the Fayetteville (Tennessee) Police Department. He is survived by his wife, five children, two brothers, and mother.

Officer Nick O'Rear killed in the line of duty
Officer Nick O'Rear killed in the line of duty (Source: City of Ashville)

• Officer Nick O’Rear, Kimberly Police Department

Officer O’Rear was shot and killed on February 5, 2020, during a vehicle pursuit on Interstate 65 north of Birmingham. Officer O’Rear served with the Kimberly Police Department for one year and had previously served with the Ashville Police Department. He is survived by his parents, two children and was expecting a third at the time of his death.

Moody Sgt. Stephen Williams and killed in the line of duty Tuesday.
Moody Sgt. Stephen Williams and killed in the line of duty Tuesday.

• Lieutenant Stephen Williams, Moody Police Department

Lieutenant Williams was shot and killed on June 2, 2020, while responding to a call in which two subjects had barricaded themselves inside a hotel room. A U.S Air Force veteran, Lieutenant Williams had record of 23 years' service to law enforcement service, including three years with the Moody Police Department, 2 ½ years with the Calera Police Department, 15 years with the Alabaster Police Department, and 2 ½ years with the Bessemer Police Department. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Community members remember the life, legacy of Phenix City assistant police chief
Community members remember the life, legacy of Phenix City assistant police chief (Source: WTVM)

• Assistant Chief Gail Green-Gilliam, Phenix City Police Department

Assistant Chief Green-Gilliam lost her life on June 24, 2020, to COVID-19 as a result of exposure in the line of duty. Assistant Chief Green-Gilliam served with the Phenix City Police Department for 33 years. She is survived by her husband, son, two daughters, grandchildren and siblings.

Guyton was tested for the novel Coronavirus Monday morning at UAB Employee Health, according to his wife. The following day he was rushed to the hospital where he learned the test came pack positive.
Guyton was tested for the novel Coronavirus Monday morning at UAB Employee Health, according to his wife. The following day he was rushed to the hospital where he learned the test came pack positive. (Source: Fekisha Vaughan Guyton)

• Sergeant Parnell Guyton, UAB Police Department

Sergeant Guyton lost his life on July 31, 2020, to COVID-19 as a result of exposure in the line of duty. Sergeant Guyton served with the UAB Police Department for 16 years. He is survived by his wife and son.

“While we all hope for a time when we no longer have a need to do so, we acknowledge that sacrifice is inherent in the calling of a law enforcement officer,” said Attorney General Marshall. “The men and women who—night and day—stand guard to protect us, do so not for fame or fortune, but out of a selfless duty to serve their fellow man.”

Because the Law Enforcement Summit was held virtually this year, Attorney General Marshall will personally present certificates of honor to each fallen officer’s family at a later date.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.