BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Ten years ago, three Birmingham officers died while serving a warrant in west Birmingham.
It was the single deadliest day for the department in the city’s history.
There was a fourth officer injured during that shooting that day. He was the only survivor.
Ever since June 17th, 2004, Mike Collins has been known as the “fourth officer” and he says it’s a title he takes very seriously.
“I mean it’s a part of me now. I don’t try to run away from it, I mean I can’t run away from it,” Sgt. Mike Collins said.
He’s the fourth officer who came to a house on 18th street in Ensley ten years ago to serve a warrant.
The other three, Harley Chisholm III, Charles Bennett and Carlos Owen, were all shot and killed.
Even though talking about what happened that day is still difficult a decade later, Sgt. Collins says he almost sees it as his duty as the fourth officer to keep talking, and to share their story. He believes it will help other people remember the three officers who died in the line of duty.
“They definitely need to be remembered and you know that’s why I do talk. I don’t seek it out but when I’m asked I will speak for them because they deserve to be remembered. They laid down their lives protecting the city of Birmingham and the city of Birmingham needs to remember that,” Sgt. Collins said.
All three officers killed were from the West Precinct. The West Precinct is holding a private memorial in their honor Tuesday night. The families of the three officers killed are expected to attend.
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