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COVID-19 leading cause of law enforcement deaths; Madison Co. investigator laid to rest

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 7:58 PM CST
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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - A 30 year veteran with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office was laid to rest Tuesday.

Criminal Investigator Steve Finley died Friday due to COVID-19 complications.

Sheriff Kevin Turner says the community lost an incredible officer and a role model of a family man.

“Steve Finley could not be a better police officer, could not be a better investigator than he was. But more importantly than that, Steve Finley was probably one of the best family men that I ever met in my life. Anything you put in front of him, he always went out and did his best and solved the case. And I’m going to miss him, I know everybody standing behind me is going to miss him as a command staff,” Sheriff Turner said.

Steve Finley served the Madison County Sheriff’s Department for about three decades. He worked as a criminal investigator over the past 20 years.

He died Friday at Huntsville Hospital with his family.

Tuesday, county, city and state law enforcement officers led a formal procession to bring Finley to his resting place.

“He is worthy of us stepping up and celebrating what he’s done. Not for the Madison County sheriff’s office, but what he’s done for Madison County and the city of Huntsville and the people who live in it,” Turner said.

COVID-19, which claimed Finley’s life, is now the leading cause of death for law enforcement officers nationwide. In 2021, 301 officers died due to the virus.

According to the study linked above, at least 4 to 6 of those deaths were in Alabama.

Working in a pandemic is a risk Sheriff Kevin Turner says his team will continue to take to serve the people of Madison County.

“There’s a lot of different things that can happen to a person wearing a gun and badge. That’s not going to stop every one of us from coming to work every day and doing our job. That’s my message to the county is, we are going to keep coming, we are going to keep doing our job and this will not stop us.”

Finley’s vaccination status is unclear.

Sheriff Turner says they will continue to support his family through this difficult time.

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