HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Eleven years ago, Huntsville police officer Eric Freeman died in the line of duty. Friday was a bittersweet day for William Cameron Freeman, Eric’s son. He graduated in the 59th class of the Huntsville Police Academy, after 19 weeks of what the class calls blood, sweat and respect.
On Dec. 14, 2007, Eric Freeman was dispatched to an accident on Bailey Cove Road. After he arrived, he was shot and killed by a drunk driver involved in the crash. Officer Kevin Lambert, who worked with him, said there’s not a day that goes by where he and the other officers don’t think of Freeman.
“Eric was a great guy, he was a great guy to work with. When he passed, a little part of all of us died," Lambert said.
Lambert added that having Eric’s son join the academy fills the void he and Huntsville Police have felt the past eleven years.
“Having his son here now, it kinda brings us back to fulfillment. I’m proud for him, he’s spent the last 19 weeks going through the academy, pushing through it,” Lambert said. “It’s also a sad day for him. It’s the same day his father was shot and killed."
HPD’s recruiting officer, Karl Kissich, said Huntsville’s police academy is known for being one of the toughest for law enforcement in the area. All of the officers say they’re proud of the recent graduates, and they know Eric is looking down, very proud of his son.