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Two officer deaths in county in last century

By Staff
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in America every 53 hours. It's a frightening statistic and one officers and their families struggle with daily.
Since the first recorded slaying of a law enforcement officer in 1792, more than 16,000 law enforcement officers have lost their lives. According to the National Law Enforcement Memorial, 401 of those have been Alabamians. Two of the deaths were in Morgan County.
The most recent death involved Deputy Sheriff Charles William Biles, 64, of the Morgan County Sheriff's Department. Biles died May 23, 1985 after he was shot with a semi-automatic rifle while checking on a suspicious vehicle near Brewer High School. The driver of the car shot Biles, who returned fire as the suspect fled in the car. The deputy's gunfire hit the car's gas tank and the suspect ran out of gas and was apprehended. The shooter later hung himself in the Morgan County Jail.
The other law enforcement officer death dates back to Sept. 10, 1927, when Deputy Sheriff Burns Almon, 39, died from wounds he received during a raid in Decatur. Almon was shot while he was chasing a fleeing suspect, who fell to the ground and opened fire on the officer.
The greatest cause of deaths for law enforcement officers is gunfire. Fifty-seven officers were shot and killed in 2002. The second leading cause of officer death is auto accidents, accounting for 44 deaths in 2002.