PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Family and friends along and local law enforcement all joined together this week to remember the life of a man they say had a historic impact in East Alabama.
Former Police Officer Jimmy Long passed away earlier this week. Long was the first African-American police officer sworn into the Phenix City Police Department in 1966.
“To see law enforcement honor my father for what he meant to Phenix City, what he did for Phenix City, when I waked in and saw the gentleman standing over him, I broke down,” said Long’s youngest daughter, Jacqueline Long-Johnson.
The idea of an African-American Police Officer in 1966 Alabama was not well received among all citizens. However, Long did not let that stop him from serving his community.
“It was really trying times then. Every time he left the house my father would receive bomb threats and death threats. I remember asking my mom why we went to sleep at home and woke up at a friends or family members house. She said, she didn’t want to lose her children to a bomb threat,” said Long’s other daughter, Victoria Long-Roy.
Long’s fellow officers and family say his sacrifice and endurance blazed a trail for others. For his heroic efforts and dedication, Long even received the key to the city in 2009.
“He did a lot, he helped out a lot. I’m just so hurt today to see that my father won’t be with us anymore,” said Jacqueline.
Long passed away on April 19th at the age of 81 years old.
Family says that while the loss is difficult, they’re thanking the community for honoring his life and legacy.
“One thing I can say is his name is going to live on through me,” says Long’s son Jimmy.
According to the family, Long’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday, April 20th at 1:00 PM.