48 Exclusive: Lieutenant Max Dotson speaks a year after losing his best friend

Remembering Sgt. Nick Risner: One year since deadly officer-involved shooting
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 11:13 PM CDT
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SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WAFF) - Sheffield Police Lieutenant Max Dotson is reflecting on a day he will never forget. The day his best friend and a fellow officer were killed in the line of duty.

“Devastating there’s no other way around it,” he said. “The scene was so chaotic that it took a couple of minutes before I even realized that Sergeant Risner had been shot.”

On October 1st, 2021 officers responded to a dead body laying in the middle of the road. Moments later shots rang out in a nearby parking lot.

Both Lieutenant Dotson and Sergeant Risner were in the middle of it all.

Dotson, who was also shot that day, said the pain he feels now is much worse than at that moment.

“You’re not just losing a great police officer and supervisor, but also a friend,” he said.

Dotson knows the work of a police officer is not easy, as you never know what will happen when you put on your badge. This was the case a year ago.

“When we get up and walk out the door, we don’t know what lies in front of us,” he said.

When one walks through the halls of the Sheffield Police Department, they are reminded of Sergeant Risner.

Lieutenant Dotson said they continue to push on to honor their friend.

“We do what we know Nick wants us to do. You just strap your boots and go to work and continue to train,” he said.