Opinion: In the line of duty

Published 3:57 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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Chief Deputy Clay Hammac with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office was at the Alabama State House fighting for the Deputy Brad Johnson Bill—named after a deputy who died in the line of duty last year—when he received a call that two SCSO deputies had been shot in North Shelby.

Often times, it is far too easy to remove ourselves from the dangers that we see on the television screen. We think things like, “That would never happen here, not in Shelby County.” And yet our officers face dangers each and every day in the line of duty.

Four SCSO deputies arrived on the scene of a house on the 3100 block of Bradford Place in the Meadowbrook after reports of someone breaking into a family’s home while they were away.

“When they got to the upstairs area of the house, they made contact with somebody in a bathroom,” Sheriff John Samaniego said. “They were conversing with them trying to get them to come out. At that point, without warning, they fired upon deputies, hitting two deputies.”

Fortunately, the other two deputies were able to escort the injured deputies to safety and maintain the position until the suspect put the gun down and gave up.

The Shelby County Major Crimes Task Force led by the District Attorney’s Office and District Attorney Matt Casey as well as the Alabaster and Pelham police departments have taken over the investigation.

“I’m thankful, first and foremost, that our deputies are going to be alright,” Casey said. “This is a stark reminder of the dangers that our law enforcement officers face each and every day. Our office will continue to work in coordination with the Shelby County Major Crimes Task Force to pursue justice in this case.”

Local law enforcement tackle different calls and reports every day. However, they always have to be vigilant because they never know when a routine call could escalate to something more.

With the situation over, it is a time to be thankful for the blessing of the deputies’ safety, but it’s also a solemn moment of contemplation for all of the brave law enforcement officers who don’t make it back home to their families.