MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA, Ala. — Back on New Year’s Day, two confirmed tornados touched down in Madison County. One man in Hazel Green said a deputy’s quick thinking helped his family to take cover.
The Madison County Sheriff deputy‘s name is Bryan Barrett, and Keneisha Deas says he is the Valley’s First Responder of the Month!
“I wanted to give back to my community. I started law enforcement back in Prichard, Alabama, and came up here because this is one of the top sheriff’s departments to work for in the state, so I applied and came up here,” said Barrett.
Just within his first couple years, he’s made an impact on his neighbor, Heath Campbell. “He’s like family, a brother. He’s kind of like a mentor.”
“He’s a great guy to be around, he don’t act like a cop. He acts like a normal human being and that’s what makes me proud of him,” said Campbell.
However, on January 1, Campbell would learn more of Barrett’s bravery behind the badge.
“It was just a bad stormy day, that day. He was on patrol, and he had been out on patrol. He made a stop there on the road on Charity Lane, and right after that stop he saw what was going on, like he said, poles started snapping in front of him and saw it coming down and I wasn’t far from it where I live, and he notified my family and me, to take cover,” said Campbell.
A confirmed EF-0 tornado at 85 miles per hour, hit near Hazel Green where Campbell’s family lives.
“I was actually driving on Charity when it started coming out and it started knocking over light poles, and being a good neighbor, I know it was close to where he was, so I just gave him a call and gave him a heads up on it,” said Barrett.
Barrett also understands the weight his badge carries, given all sorts of challenges law enforcement face in this day and age.
“It’s why you do it, is to give a different face to it. Give back, and try to make a more positive light for law enforcement. Getting up every day to help out friends, neighbors, be part of a brotherhood we have in the law enforcement community. That’s what gets me out of bed every day,” said Barrett.
Barrett’s message for future law enforcement officers:
“Stay strong, get a good education. Make sure you stay out of trouble, that’s one of the main things. Decide where you want to go, and pursue that dream, and don’t let anything get in the way.”
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