It was a hot, summer day years ago when I pulled into a local parking lot. In a matter of moments, after stepping out of the car, I realized I had locked the keys inside.

After cussing myself and wondering what I would do, I called my police contact, at Scottsboro Police Department, Scott Matthews. Within minutes, Daniel Pierce pulled up and went about helping me.

A few years later, I had an accident off the courthouse square. Again, I quickly called my contact, Erik Dohring. Within a minute or so, Kyle Shelton showed up and helped me through it.

My point is our local law enforcement is about much more than just arresting people and writing tickets.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date occurred as Police Week.

On Friday morning, members of the local VFW and American Legion had short ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park honoring our local law enforcement, including Scottsboro Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Members of both units showed up as veterans recognized them and showed appreciation.

“Our county has come a long way in recognizing and appreciating veterans,” said Larry Becker. “You guys deserve as much.”

Our local law enforcement is on 24/7. As Becker said, they wake up in the morning not knowing what the day holds. Whether it’s helping someone with keys locked up, in an accident or something much worse, they are there. They are literally on the front line each day.

We tend to gripe about police officers until we need one. We should be thankful for the ones we have. And we should remember those who have made a sacrifice in duty.

DeWayne Patterson is the editor and publisher of the Sentinel. He can be reached by email to 

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