Lee County remembering Deputy James Anderson 13 years later

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 4:35 PM EDT
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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - “We’re all here united, together for a common purpose and that is to honor James Anderson’s memory,” says Sheriff Jay Jones of Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Starting from Smiths Station High School and ending at Garden Hill Cemetery, this ride to remember is in observance of Deputy Anderson’s legacy.

On September 24, 2009, Lee County Sheriff Deputy James Anderson died doing what friends and family say he did best — serving others.

“I wish that everybody was able to have met deputy Anderson, he would literally give the shirt off his back to anyone in need. We need more people like him in this world,” says Katie Bonham, Anderson’s former partner and mentee.

Police say Anderson was intentionally hit by a driver identified as Gregory Lance Henderson, who was pulled over for a routine traffic stop.

Thirteen years later, Anderson is still missed across Lee County.

“He took his oath of office with honor, and he was a funny guy, a great guy and he’s missed real bad,” says Mayor Bubba Copeland, Smiths Station.

“He loved his family, he loved Lee County, and he loved Lee County Sheriff’s office,” says Sgt. Lee McElroy of Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

At his gravesite, his grandchildren placed his favorite drink on his headstone, cans of Coca-Cola.

Words of honor and gratitude were shared from individuals on who Anderson made a lasting impact. Bonham was one of many who Anderson trained.

“Through him many of us in Law Enforcement got the bug to even more to stay in Law enforcement and it’s through his sacrifice that I am still able to serve citizens in law enforcement,” says Bonham.

Deputy Anderson’s memorial ride also serves as a reminder of the risk public safety officers take daily to serve their community.

“The business of public safety, law enforcement, it’s a challenge, but that’s something that the men and women in this profession share in a mindset of service to others,” says Sheriff Jones, “They sign up because their hearts tell them to. It’s a commitment as much as it is an occupation.”

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