MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — During a memorial service at the state capitol Friday, Alabama’s Fraternal Order of Police and state leaders honored law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty last year.
They paid tribute to the nine who were lost in 2022: Madison County Sheriff’s Office investigator Steven Ray Finley, Hanceville Police Department Lt. Kevin Pounders, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office deputy Steve Bobbitt, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Keith Morgan, Cedar Bluff Police Department Sgt. Christopher Michael Vaughn, Vestavia Hills Police Department officer Darryl Wayne Fortner, Chambers County Sheriff’s Office deputy J’Mar Colin Abel, Bibb County Sheriff’s Office deputy Bradley Steven Henry Johnson and Mount Vernon Police Department officer Ivan Mauricio Lopez.
One by each, each member of law enforcement was recognized. Their loved ones pinned a flower onto a display in memory. The ceremony was followed by a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps” outside.
“Our peaceful and orderly society could not exist without their service, and regrettably far too often, without their sacrifice,” Gov. Kay Ivey said during the service.
The ceremony also comes on Alabama’s first official Peace Officers Memorial Day. Ivey signed that bill into law this session, making it the first Friday every May in Alabama from here on out.