I am truly thankful to not only the Alabama Highway Patrol, but those all over the United States. They selflessly put themselves in the way of certain peril in order to keep highways safe and free of danger.
Can you imagine what it would be like to pull over the “wrong” motorist? What if this individual ended up having a criminal record longer than your forearm? What if the person was wanted for murder? And there you were, the state trooper who was then in the perfect position to send him back to jail.
Sure, this would be an extreme case…but it can certainly happen. And what about the danger of being at the side of the road, writing tickets to speeders? Nowadays, there are laws requiring traffic to move to the left-most lane as a matter of safety when cars are pulled over to the right-most shoulder. But it simply does not always happen.
There are a lot of other purposes served by state troopers that we do not always hear about. I’ve only scratched the surface in my upcoming horror novel, An Interstate Ghost Story: The Girl on the Highway.
As for the Alabama Highway Patrol, I am truly thankful for their assistance. I dropped by unannounced at the Department of Public Safety one day a couple of years ago. There was a kind receptionist who showed me to the Alabama Highway Patrol Museum encouraging me to take my time looking around. And when I had research questions, she immediately found a kind captain of state troopers who took the time to answer those questions. He has since retired, from what I’ve heard. But he will always be near and dear to my heart for taking the time to help a not-very-well-known writer.
There is also a state trooper responsible for the public information side of the highway patrol. He has been somewhat helpful as well.
Most state troopers are good people, very deserving of our respect and honor. And it has been my most important goal in conveying this in my upcoming work of horror. As a token of my respect and admiration for this brave bunch of troopers here in Alabama, I wish to post a list of those who have given their lives in performance of their duty:
- Trooper Ervin Michael Hawk Johnston, Monday, June 16, 2008 Duty related illness
- Trooper Brian Keith NicholsSunday, February 17, 2002 Automobile accident
- Trooper Willis Von MooreMonday, February 26, 1996 Automobile accident
- Trooper Robert William JonesThursday, October 3, 1991 Automobile accident
- Trooper Elizabeth S. CobbSunday, October 11, 1987 Gunfire
- Trooper Larry D. CawyerSaturday, May 25, 1985 Automobile accident
- Trooper Simmie L. JeffriesFriday, December 21, 1984 Automobile accident
- Trooper David E. TempleThursday, September 13, 1979 Gunfire
- Trooper Johnnie Earl BookerThursday, November 2, 1978 Automobile accident
- Sergeant Julian Douglas StuckeyThursday, June 27, 1974 Automobile accident
- Trooper Kenyon M. LassiterFriday, April 19, 1974 Vehicular assault
- Trooper Bobby S. GannThursday, February 21, 1974 Gunfire
- Trooper James B. RobinsonSunday, December 10, 1972 Gunfire
- Corporal Riley Delano SmithFriday, December 17, 1971 Electrocuted
- Auxiliary Trooper Ormand Franklin WatkinsSunday, April 11, 1971 Gunfire
- Corporal Harlan B. BlakeSaturday, October 10, 1970 Vehicle pursuit
- Corporal Thomas O. GillilanWednesday, July 1, 1970 Gunfire
- Trooper Brooks D. LawsonThursday, July 31, 1969 Struck by train
- Trooper Randolph G. GloverWednesday, July 19, 1967 Automobile accident
- Sergeant Raymond M. CarltonSaturday, February 27, 1965 Automobile accident
- Captain Thomas E. MaxwellThursday, October 4, 1962 Automobile accident
- Patrolman Anthony ScozzaroWednesday, December 13, 1961 Automobile accident
- Patrolman Joe F. PartinMonday, July 25, 1960 Motorcycle accident
- Patrolman Howard BrockFriday, November 8, 1957 Vehicle pursuit
- Patrolman Julian F. DraughonSaturday, October 3, 1953 Motorcycle accident
- Patrolman Henry Preston BryantSunday, December 7, 1952 Vehicle pursuit
- Patrolman Arvil O. HudsonTuesday, May 20, 1952 Vehicle pursuit
- Patrolman William D. Raiford, Sr.Saturday, October 16, 1937 Motorcycle accident
- Patrolman Maury YoungSaturday, September 5, 1936 Motorcycle accident
State troopers, thank you for all you do. And God bless you and yours!