MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - For many, it's hard to believe it's been 32 years since the tragic death of Meridian Police Officer Alma Walters. Officer Walters was shot with her own weapon while attempting to arrest a suspect following a domestic disturbance call.
Meridian Police Chief Benny Dubose showed Newscenter 11 a letter that a former officer left at his office to remind the department of this day. Evidence that Walters' memory lives on.
"I received a note from an officer this morning saying that and I quote, 'remember today is the 32nd year since the death of Alma Walters on 12-28-85. I'll never forget that night," Chief Dubose said.
A picture of Walters is displayed on the front wall of the department in her honor. A symbol to officers that Walters was a hero who lost her life protecting the community.
"We stress to our officers that this can happen to anyone regardless of how much training you may have or so forth," Chief Dubose said.
Newscenter 11 spoke off-camera with former police officer Karl Merchant. Merchant told us that he was the first backup officer on scene that night. He says when he approached the scene, Walters yelled that the suspect had her gun and to not enter the house. Those words saved his life and countless others.
"Actually, she might have saved lives on that night. Because she screamed out to the officers when they were approaching the residence that the individual had her gun and not to come in,” Chief Dubose said. “We will never forget. I will never forget. I'd only been on the department for about 3 to 4 years at that point. I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing and who I was with."
Meridian has lost four officer in the line of duty since 1888. The last was Walters back in 1985.