Law enforcers face danger daily - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Law enforcers face danger daily

May 15, 2006

Albany--  It's a staggering statistic. Every two days, an American police officer is killed in the line of duty. Just this year, more than 50 law enforcers died nationwide including one in Georgia.

Not only is it  a dangerous job, it's also unpredictable. Everyday, officers get into their cars and they never know what they're going to face when they leave the parking lot. For a new Dougherty County patrolman, jumping in his car each day is a way to honor his father and fulfill a lifelong dream.

It's after 6 p.m and the start of another night for Dougherty County Patrolman Stewart Williamson.

"Everyday something's new. Everyday," says Williamson. He doesn't have too many days or nights under his belt. He just started two months ago but he's already seen a a lot in his time patroling the streets. "We have done it all," says Williamson. And tonight is no different.

At just a quarter after six, already a call for a possible burglary. It gives Williamson a rush . "Gets your adrenaline pumping and everything," says Williamson. Something that's been pumping through his veins for nearly 21 years. He's following in his father's footsteps.

"He passed away when I was three years old and all I know about him is what people have told me," says Williamson. Captain Tommy Williamson of the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office and his partner were killed in a crash in 1988. Although he's gone, his spirit rides on with his son.

"They'll look at me and say your dad was Tommy wasn't he and they just look at me with a tear in their eye and say man he was a great guy," says Williamson. A father's memory and legacy is what motivates this son with each unpredictable day on the job.

"When you kick in a door, you don't know who's standing behind it or you walk up to a vehicle and you can't see in it, that scares you," says Williamson. And at the end of each night, that's what keeps him coming back.

"The bible says verse 15:13 that greater love hath no man that wants to lay down his life for another and that's pretty strong man, pretty strong words," says Williamson.

Patrolman Williamson's father was one of the officers honored Monday afternoon in Downtown Albany. He actually placed a flower on the wreath in his memory, something he's done in previous years but this was the first year he's done it in uniform.

Williamson's mother also works in law enforcement. Rebecca Williamson is Dougherty County's first female investigator. Stewart says when he was younger, his mother made him promise he wouldn't pursue a career in law enforcement but he says it was his calling.

feedback: news@walb.com?subject=DayInTheLife/Len