East Alabama law enforcement honors fallen officers
LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Their names are read out loud every year to symbolize their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Lee County Sheriff Buck Jones, Opelika officers Lt. Britton Truitt, Sgt. Roger Motley, Marshal Henry Hart, and Lee County Sheriff's Deputy James Anderson were remembered for the ultimate sacrifice.
"We remember their loved ones that were part of our family---the law enforcement family," said Auburn Police Chief Paul Register.
The widow of Sgt. Roger Motley remembering the October 4, 1993 day, was one of many in the crowd to honor their lost loved one.
"Roger died protecting a child, which was the best way he could have gone because he was such a family man," said Juanita Kirkwood.
Motley was routinely heading to get supplies for the Opelika Police Department. Things quickly took a turn for the worse. As Motley entered a Pepperell Parkway grocery store parking lot, a woman flagged him down and told him that a child in a car was asking for help.
Motley approached the driver, George Sibley, and asked for ID. Sibley, a fugitive on the run, shot and killed the Opelika police sergeant.
"He did a good job and protected that child. He lost his life, but in the end, he made a difference," said Kirkwood.
Across the country, tensions rise between local police and the community, but in East Alabama, authorities say a good relationship with the community is key to a successful department.
"When we deal with a citizen, we want that to be a positive interaction. They might be a suspect this time, but they might be a victim or witness the next time," said Register.
The Auburn police chief said he credits good relationships between the Lee County Sheriffs Office, Opelika police, and Auburn police in continuing to serve East Alabama in the best way possible.
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