The Rainsville Police Department held a moment of silence at the First Responder Memorial in the city park last week for a Tuscaloosa police officer who was shot to death on Sept. 16.
Investigator Dornell Cousette, 40, was killed during the pursuit of a wanted felon, according to a report from al.com.
Cousette was a U.S. Army veteran, 13-year officer with the Tuscaloosa Police Department and had a fiancé and two children that were left behind after his death last week.
Luther Bernard Watkins Jr., 20, was charged with capital murder following the incident.
Rainsville Police Chief Kevin Smith said the department placed roses at the memorial last Tuesday.
“We just wanted to honor his memory and his service,” Smith said. “He’s a brother in law enforcement that has paid the ultimate price.”
Cousette is the fifth law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty in Alabama this year.
“This war on police has got to stop,” Smith said. “There are record numbers of officers killed in the line of duty in the last three years and it goes up every year. These are senseless killings of men and women who are doing nothing but their jobs. They’re doing what they’re paid and sworn to do and what they’re honored to do and people are shooting them just because they wear a badge.”
Kevin Smith’s father, Denny Smith, said last week’s memorial was to keep incidents like these and the sacrifices of law enforcement officers fresh in peoples’ minds.
“Nobody pays attention to things like this anymore until something happens,” Denny Smith said.
Smith retired after 25 years with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and his other son, Keith Smith, has been in law enforcement for several years as well. He said his family knows all too well the risks involved with the job.
“I don’t think people understand what a cop goes through, risking his life and being away from his family and everything. And then when something happens, there’s a family without a husband and a father. It just breaks your heart to see that.”
Denny said the Rainsville First Responder Memorial is a “beautiful” tribute and everyone should take more time to remember those that risk their lives everyday.
Kevin Smith said the Rainsville PD reached out to the Tuscaloosa PD last week to offer their condolences and to offer to help them any way they can.