RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL)— One local east Alabama FOP Chapter unveiled their latest tribute to the communities’ fallen officers.
The monument itself began as a dream about three years ago, one accredited to Phenix City resident Kim Yarbrough. FOP President, Gary Leeds explains the process from onset to the unveiling.
“It was a challenge. It was a challenge that we as an organization accepted readily and worked on, worked tirelessly to get this to come about,” Leeds says.
Saturday, May 21, the Marcus Bruce Lee Lodge 14 of Phenix City unveiled the three stone monument that stands in front of the Russell County Judicial Center, a prime location law officials decided on during the conceptual phase.
“It is significant, and the reason being is both Sheriff Heath Taylor and Police Chief Ray Smith thought it was an appropriate spot because most everyone that goes comes in to the judicial center. It is center right there before the entrance, and everyone will be able to see it. And they may, by viewing the names, may remember those individuals that are engraved on the monument,” Leeds says.
Ten names are listed on the monument, composed of local officers that died in the line of duty ranging from 1895 to 2020.
“The three stones, as you face the monument to the left, under the Russell County Deputies badge is the police officers prayer. To the right side, under the Phenix City badge is a dedication that these names will forever stay, that they may be gone, but they are never, never forgotten,” he explains.
Leeds invites the community to make their way out to the Fallen Officers Monument to honor all officers who perished in the line of duty.
“I encourage everybody to go visit it because it to me, it is just awesome.”