MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - This week is National Police week, and not only do we remember those officers who lost their lives in the the line of duty, we also commemorate the ones still serving today.
WAFF 48 News spoke with a veteran of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, who has served for nearly a quarter of a century.
“It becomes an extension of your own family. You know, contrary to popular belief, we’re not hatched from a rock we come from the populous. We laugh, we cry and we die in this job," deputy sheriff John Bili said.
Family is the word both Bili and deputy sheriff Caleb Brooks use to describe the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.
However, they’ll tell you first hand, it’s not always easy.
“The worst part of this job is knocking on the door, knowing that the person on the other side of that door, life is fixing to change for the worse,” Bili explained.
He says it’s about being a real human, and that law enforcement officers aren’t always callous.
Brooks has been a deputy for four years now, and he says he’s learned compassion from his co-workers.
"I try to leave them knowing that the Morgan County Sheriff's Office is behind them and will help them anytime they need help." BROOKS
In his short time at the department, Brooks says he’s experienced life-changing events.
“You never know when something’s gonna happen, and God definitely had a hand on us that night,” Brooks said.
On September 7th, 2018, Brooks and Morgan County Sergeant Danny Kelso were in a head on collision in a patrol car.
The accident nearly took their lives.
“Kelso told me that he couldn’t feel his legs, so I grabbed him up underneath the arms, pulled him out, and laid him on the ground and he was just screaming,” Brooks described.
For a minute, he says he was in shock, however, he made a split-second decision that helped save Kelso’s life.
“When you go through something like that, your training and everything just kicks in,” Brooks said.
He explained that night as something he’ll never forget. He says people expect officers to help them during tragic events like that, and he was the person to do that.
Brooks puts this back on learning from, what he calls his ‘family’, at the sheriff’s office.
“When you see a brother or sister in arms here, hurting, you hurt too,” Bili said.
It has been a long road to recovery but Kelso is progressing and moving closer to the day he returns to work.
Brooks meanwhile is still serving the people of Morgan County.