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Fallen Officer Memorial

Fallen Officer Memorial Monument with Names Engraved

Officer E. L. Steele April 28, 1905 Decatur Police Department

On the evening of Friday, April 28, 1905, Officer E.L. Steele of the Decatur Police Department had affected an arrest of a subject named Will Jackson.  The arrest took place in the vicinity of Bank Street N.E. and Vine Street N.E. As Officer Steele escorted the suspect to the city jail, the prisoner Will Jackson engaged Officer Steele in a fight in an apparent attempt to escape.  In the affray, Jackson was successful in disarming Officer Steele and shooting Officer Steele with his own weapon.  Officer Steele succumbed to his wounds.  Jackson was apprehended and later hanged for his offense.

Officer William Amslom "Billy" Baber July 2, 1905 Decatur Police Department

Officer Baber responded to a call for assistance by another Officer (W.Moore) who had taken two suspects into custody in front of the railroad depot on Railroad Street N.E..  One of the subjects escaped custody while the arresting Officer searched the other.  The escaped prisoner hid behind a billboard that was nearby (at the intersection of Lafayette and Railroad Street). Officer Baber knew the subject was hiding behind the billboard and called for him to come out.  The suspect (Percie Couch) told Baber he would kill him if he did not retreat from his location.  Baber not only did not retreat, he advanced and Couch shot Baber four times (Couch was firing a .44 caliber revolver). Baber was carried to the railroad depot for medical treatment.  He was later moved to his home where he died. Couch fled to Fayetteville, Tenn., he was captured in Fayetteville and returned by train to Decatur.  Upon his arrival in Decatur, over 3000 people had gathered at the depot, many of them carrying ropes for lynching.  The people of Decatur were quite upset at losing three Officers in 18 months.  The Chief of Police and Sheriff were able to sneak Couch off the train to the county jail.  While awaiting trial, some four months later, Couch escaped custody.

Officer Jesse Lemuel "Lem" Jones November 25, 1906 Decatur Police Department

Alice Williams, the owner of an "establishment" on Alabama Street near the river in Decatur, called the Mayor's residence asking for help with two patrons on her premises. Off. Lem Jones responded and found two men inside the house who had been discharging firearms inside the house.  Jones arrested Wayne Moore and as he was escorting him from the house when Moore's friend Will Wade shot Jones in the left temple, the projectile exiting Jones' head behind his right ear.  "Lem", as his friends called him, never felt the floorboards of the front porch when he fell. Though Moore escaped custody, he and Wade were later captured and convicted of killing Officer Jones.

Deputy Sheriff Burns Almon September 10, 1927 Morgan County Sheriff's Office

Just before the noon hour, Morgan County Sheriff B.E. Davis and four of his Deputies approached an illegal still operation east of the city of Decatur.  As the Officers approached the operation, the suspects operating the still field on foot.  One of the fleeing suspects fell to the ground and began firing on the closing Deputies.  Deputy Almon was struck and mortally wounded.  Even after being wounded, Deputy Almon returned fire at the suspect.  Almon died shortly thereafter.  Burns Almon was 39 years of age.

Officer Thomas E. Wright March 27, 1930 Decatur Police Department

While on patrol, Officers Tom Wright and Wade Moore began following a vehicle they observed disregarding a stop sign near the Bee Line Highway.  The vehicle stopped in front of a residence on Johnson Street, where the driver lived. The driver of the car was a former probate judge from Madison County named Thomas Skeggs and was at the time of the vehicle stop, running for a seat in the state legislature.  As Officer Wright approached the car, the driver shot him in the chest using a .41 caliber Derringer.  Officer Wright, after being shot, took the driver into custody and turned him over to his partner Officer Moore while he Officer Wright drove to the Decatur Police Department.  Officer Wright held on for several days, receiving blood transfusions from his fellow officers before he died.  Thomas Skeggs was convicted of murder and was released on an appeal bond.  While walking the streets of Decatur, Thomas Skeggs attempted to cross the street and a vehicle driven by the captain of a local football team struck and killed Skeggs.

Captain Thomas E. Maxwell October 4, 1962 Alabama State Troopers

On the fourth day of October 1962, two vehicles collided with one another on Danville Road at Johnson Chapel Road near Decatur.  One of the vehicles was an Alabama Highway Patrol vehicle driven by State Trooper Capt. Thomas E. Maxwell.  Capt. Maxwell died as a result of the injuries he received in that collision.  Capt. Maxwell was the first Alabama State Trooper to be killed in the line of duty.  Captain Maxwell was 41 years of age.

Officer Loyd Hays May 2, 1964 Alabama Game and Fish

On the 2nd day of May 1964, Officer Loyd Hayes was checking an abandoned vehicle on the south bank of Flint Creek just outside of Decatur when he encountered a male and female subject walking near the vehicle.  As Off. Hayes approached the two, the female leaped behind Off. Hayes, shielding herself from the male subject shouting that she had been assaulted.  Before Officer Hayes could react, the male subject shot him two times.  Though gravely wounded, Officer Hayes attempted to arrest the subject and fought with him until weakened by blood loss, Hayes was overpowered.  The subject stabbed Officer Hayes multiple times after shooting him twice.  Officer Hayes died at the scene.  Loyd Hayes was 41 Years of age. Responding Deputies arrested the subject who was convicted and sentenced to death but his sentence was later changed to life in prison. However, he was paroled in 1979.

Trooper David Temple September 13, 1979 Alabama State Troopers

At approx. 3:30 pm a lone gunman robbed a user car lot in Decatur and fled toward Huntsville.  Trooper David Temple encountered the suspect's vehicle as it sped eastward toward Madison.  Trooper Temple initiated a vehicle stop of this suspect on Alabama Highway 20 in Mooresville.  As Trooper Temple approached the suspect vehicle, the lone occupant of the vehicle, swung open the driver's door and shot Trooper Temple.  As Trooper Temple lay wounded in the middle of Highway 20, the suspect exited his vehicle walked to Trooper Temple and shot him several more times.  Trooper Temple died laying on Highway 20.  The suspect was later shot and killed as he attempted to carry out the same fate on a Madison Police Officer.

Deputy Sheriff William "Bill" Biles May 21, 1985 Morgan County Sheriff's Office
It was a Tuesday...the 141st day of 1985. School was ending with Summer knocking on the door. It was 14 years before we ever heard of Columbine. It was that Tuesday in May 1985, that many believe Deputy William "Bill" Biles gave his life preventing a possible school shooting.
At 8:28 am Deputy William "Bill" Biles interacted with a vehicle with the tag 47U-3818 near A.P. Brewer High School. The vehicle left the area.
At 1:16 pm Deputy Biles noticed the same vehicle from earlier back around the school. He radioed in that he was looking into the suspicious vehicle with the tag 47U-3818.
Four minutes later he radioed for assistance and stated he had been shot.
In those four minutes.... Deputy Biles stated that he had "stopped the Ford Mustang automobile and was approaching the driver's side to ask for the driver's identification when he saw the barrel of a gun. He attempted to grab the barrel and push it toward the driver and away from his head. As he reached for the barrel, he heard a "click" but did not know if it was the safety or the hammer on the weapon. Just as he touched the barrel, he heard the weapon fire and felt his chest burn." He returned fire, striking the vehicle several times, with one striking the gas tank.
An hour later, a couple who had been listening to the scanner notified a Cullman County Deputy that a car matching the description was at Hebron Church. The Cullman County Deputy, joined by a Blount County Deputy approached the vehicle, now out of gas, and directed the subject to throw out the weapon and exit the car. He eventually did.
The subject was arrested dressed in camouflage with a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle; 284 rounds of 9 mm ammunition; 88 rounds of 223 caliber ammunition; two rifle clips and a knife.
The subject, a juvenile and former Brewer student, dealing with mental health issues was convicted of capital murder but committed suicide in prison in 1989. We will never know his true intentions. Those that were there and students from that time credit Deputy Biles with saving lives that day.
Deputy William "Bill" Biles succumbed to his wound two days later on May 23, 1985. While being treated at Hartselle Hospital, he stated "please take care of Dot(his wife)and those kids". We pray that we have!
Deputy Biles is a hero. Each May, the Biles family joins us at the memorial that bears the name of the Husband, Father they lost on that 141st day in was a Tuesday.
Sheriff Badge Decatur Badge Trooper Seal Game and fish Seal
To protect and serve … since 1818