State FOP honors county deputy
Published 1:58 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2015
“Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for a friend.”
Butler County’s John Timothy “Tim” Williamson made the ultimate sacrifice last year, when he died from a massive heart attack in the line of duty. He was 48.
On Friday, he and three others — Covington County Sheriff’s Deputy Heath Kelley, Dothan Police Sgt. Jeffrey Garrett, and Elmore County Sheriff’s deputy Bart Hart — were honored on the south lawn of the state capitol by the Alabama State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police at its annual law enforcement officers memorial service.
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Williamson was one of 127 law enforcement officers that died in the line of duty last year.
More than 20,000 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty since the 1700s.
State FOP President T.J. Phillips said the event was to honor the fallen brothers and the survivors.
“We want to let everyone in the community know we love each other,” he said.
Gov. Robert Bentley addressed the crowd, and spoke privately with the families of the fallen.
“It is not a time of celebration, but of commemoration of the lives lost,” he said. “Each day law enforcement courageously puts themselves in harm’s way. The sacrifice made by these men – and in past women – is unmatched. I mourn with all the family. I want each of you to know how sorry I am for the loss of your family.”
Attorney General Luther Strange said being a police officer is a calling, not a job.
“There is no ceremony we could have that would take away the pain,” he said.
Chief Justice Roy Moore said these officers make a better world, state and community.
“No one makes a bigger sacrifice than these made,” he said.
Williamson served in the Butler County Sheriff’s Officer for some 20 years. He was hired as a correctional officer and then became a road deputy. His first stints in law enforcement came with the Greenville and Georgiana police departments.
Members of the state FOP honor guard and ladies auxiliary placed a red rose on the wreath in honor of Williamson.