Community Stories Hometown Heroes

HPD Officer Caught Helping Citizen

“Caught red-handed!” 

So states the Facebook post accompanying a photo of Police Sergeant Stephen Anderson of Huntsville, Alabama.

“Sgt Anderson with Traffic Task Force was caught red-handed today feeding a citizen in need this afternoon,” reads the complete post, “Thank you to those out there observing our employees at their best.” 

Officer Stephen Anderson learned his generous ways from a number of sources. He attended Athens Bible School in Athens, Alabama, then moved on to Freed-Hardeman University, a Christian school emphasizing spiritual life, including service. In 2019, he completed two years of grad school with Faulkner University

As well as serving as a traffic officer, Sergeant Anderson is also a member of the Huntsville Police Department’s Honor Guard, a group of volunteers who serve as pallbearers and perform graveside flag services at funerals for officers killed in the line of duty, retired officers and others by request. 

As for Officer Anderson’s caught-on-camera, good deed of April 20, observers were quick to offer accolades. 

“Thank you Officer for being humble and kind,” wrote Carmen Carver. “God bless you.” 

Jennifer Fulton-Ashburn noted that stories like Sergeant Anderson’s are too often ignored. 

“I wish the news picked up on things like this!” she said. “Not only do our officers need the positive hype, but literally everyone could use a bit of goodness to be spread! Thank you to whomever caught this, and thank you for HPD for stepping up, helping out and sharing.” 

William Vinson, a former chaplain with HPD, added his experience to the conversation. 

“It’s a shame that Huntsville is just noticing H.P.D.S COMPASSION. … (I) had the privilege of seeing it first hand a lot of times” 

Cindy Hatcher points out a statistical fact and an emotional truth. 

“Good cops outweigh bad cops everywhere.” 

It’s true. Car wrecks and plane crashes make the news, while safe arrivals don’t. Similarly, it’s not news when police officers behave themselves and go beyond the call of duty. They quietly go about their business, the peoples’ business and sometimes even God’s business, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

So we’ll join in with Facebookers Emalyl Mize Israel and Debra N Jerry Straniero to celebrate with and for all HPD officers. 

“Thank you Sgt. Anderson!”

And, “You guys are so awesome!” 

About the author

Brad Hall

Brad Hall

Brad Hall is a pastor and the author of "Lousy Roger and Other Tales: A collection of Lectionary-based Sermons," available on In 2014, after 27 years of courtship, he married pop culture scholar Deborah Ann Miller. They share a place with two dogs, Scotty and Demitasse, and two cats, Quirkie and Brucie.

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