By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — According to the FBI, as of Oct. 15, 2019, 34 police officers had been feloniously killed in 2019. Each day, men and women of law enforcement suit up and head out to protect and serve communities. Now, we are getting a firsthand look at how officers in Trussville are doing the same.
Officer Adam Anderson has been on the job with the Trussville Police Department for 2 1/2 years. He patrols the city each day, looking to keep criminals out and to keep citizens safe.
“I enjoy helping people that can’t help themselves,” said Anderson. “It’s very rewarding. Yes, some days are challenging but overall it’s a very rewarding experience.”
The 26-year-old college graduate said he always knew he wanted to help others. After his time at Troy University, Anderson decided to use his degree in criminal justice to compliment his ability to connect with people, as a law enforcement officer.
“I don’t know what it is but people say I have a trusting face. I guess it’s true and that’s why I think I am able to do what I do,” said Anderson.
As Anderson patrols busy roadways in Trussville, he is looking for people who are breaking the law and he is looking for anyone who may need help.
“I always look in front of me and on the side of the road to make sure no one needs help. Sometimes they will be waving from a parking lot and if you don’t pay attention, you could miss them,” explained Anderson.
During a four-hour ride-along, Anderson did not write a single ticket. Although he made traffic stops for minor offenses such as expired tags and distracted driving, Anderson said his job isn’t about writing tickets and putting people in jail.
“I treat people how I would want an officer to treat me,” said Anderson. “There is no need for being hateful. You do have to watch how people act towards you. If someone is getting hostile, you have to be aware.”
Anderson said practicing situational awareness is what keeps himself and others safe.
“There are some things I can’t ignore. Like, if I didn’t write that person a ticket and the next thing you know they’re causing a wreck or causing someone to get hurt, that would be on me,” said Anderson.
Police Chief Eric Rush said even citations issued for traffic offenses are a way to keep people in the community safe.
“We write tickets to change driving habits, we don’t write them to make money,” said Rush.
In fact, the city only sees $20 per speeding ticket issued within city limits.
As for Anderson, he hopes to continue patrolling the city until he moves onto the next part of his career.
“Detective work has always been something I’ve been interested in. I want to move up in rank and just see how far I can go,” he said. “I just want to be so well-rounded that I can do everything that we offer.”
In a recent citizen survey, the Trussville fire and police departments scored a 93% approval rating. Chief Rush hopes to continue receiving positive feedback from citizens by creating more community-based initiatives.
“The relationship we have built with the community is invaluable and I hope to continue that legacy as long as I am chief,” said Rush.
If you are interested in riding along with the Trussville Police Department, you are asked to call (205) 655-2101. You must be 19 or older and must submit to a background check.