Life Saving Incident

June 6, 2021
Baldwin County
Fort Morgan

On June 6, 2021, Baldwin County Sheriff Deputy Bill Smith was killed on Sunday while attempting to rescue distressed swimmers off a private beach along the Fort Morgan peninsula west of Gulf Shores. Smith, 57, was a member of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department for the past seven years. Social media posts indicate he served about three decades as a firefighter. He also served with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office. “He was a hard worker,” said Baldwin County Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack, during an interview Sunday with WKRG-TV. “Came to us with an enthusiastic attitude. He was just a go-getter.” Mack said that the Smith volunteered to patrol along Fort Morgan Road, adding that it “was what he wanted to do.” Smith was one of two deputies who responded to a “swimmer in distress” call along Fort Morgan Road. At least three people were in the water who were “in distress.” A second deputy, later identified as Sydney Wentworth, also responded to the scene. During the rescue attempt, all of the swimmers and both deputies, were drawn into deeper waters,” Mack said. “This was possibly caused by rip current.” The U.S. Coast Guard also responded to the scene. Wentworth was taken to South Baldwin Regional Medical Center in Foley where she received medical care and was released on Monday. The swimmers, who have not been identified, were rescued, Mack said. Smith was taken to a new free-standing emergency facility in Gulf Shores where he was pronounced dead. “What happened (Sunday) is what I expected Bill to do,” Mack said. “Without hesitation, he perceived a life was in danger and went in to save a life.” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall called Smith a “hero” who sacrificed himself to save others. “It is with great sadness that Alabama’s law enforcement community has suffered the loss of another hero,” said Alabama Attorney General Marshall. “Deputy Smith’s brave and swift response to save the life of another should cause us all to pause and reflect upon the sacrifice of all law enforcement. We can never repay Deputy Smith for putting the life of a potential victim ahead of his own.”

The history of law enforcement in the United States is a long and wonderful history of bravery. This website is dedicated to documenting the heroic deeds of law enforcement officers throughout the United States who have either given or risked their lives to save others. There are many stories of bravery and heroism for many who are considered first responders. However, it is those in law enforcement who are most likely to be the first to arrive upon a location requiring life saving acts engaging dangerous hostage takers, running into burning buildings/vehicles, providing first aid to seriously injured victims, saving near drowning victims and much more are what the women and men of law enforcement do routinely and at many times, great peril to their own safety.
It is our mission to document the history of lives saved by those dedicated women and men in law enforcement. To share with others the dramatic deeds of those individuals who are the first, first responders. It is so important for our citizens to understand that law "enforcement" is not always about enforcing the law but rather being there when our citizens need us.
It is to this end we are dedicated to promoting documentation regarding the history of law enforcement and the lives they have saved.