‘That’s how we honor Brad, we keep up the fight’: Bibb Co. Sheriff talks about fallen hero Deputy Brad Johnson
BIBB Co., Ala. (WBRC) - Funeral arrangements were announced for fallen hero Bibb County K9 Deputy Brad Johnson. Johnson was shot in the line of duty on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. His End of Watch was June 30, 2022.
Services and public visitation will be held at The University of Montevallo Student Activity Center on Friday, July 8, 2022 on 61 College Drive in Montevallo.
Visitation – 9 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Memorial/Funeral – 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
There will be a procession to Centreville following the service. The community is welcome and encouraged to participate in the procession by coming out and lining sidewalks along the way.
“I want you to know it’s been a tough few days for this entire family.” Bibb County Sheriff Jody Wade spoke to the media Tuesday, July 5. Wade said his deputies are emotionally and physically worn out following Johnson’s death and the shooting of Deputy Chris Poole. Law enforcement officers from all over the state have called and offered to help take calls following the shootings and Wade said his deputies told him, “No we need to stay and keep up the fight.” Wade said, “That’s how we honor Brad, we keep up the fight.”
Wade said Brad Johnson was a hero and his last service to his community he was able to help people through organ donations. Wade said, “There’s somebody out there now with a heart of a hero beating in their chest because of this final sacrifice by him and his family.”
Wade thanked law enforcement across the state and in other states, saying he didn’t have enough time to thank everyone for everything they have done. Wade said he’s thankful for the way ALEA has stepped up. He said they’ve worked, they’ve cussed and cried together.
Wade thanked the jail commander of Shelby County Jail and said, “They’re taking care of housing this animal for us until we can get him put down.”
Deputy Brad Johnson’s K9 Bodie, who is 9, is being cared for. Wade said Bodie is in the home where he lived and he’s around people he trusts and people who love him. Sheriff Wade said more likely than not they will allow Bodie to retire. He said he’s grieving, he’s no longer himself, but he’s loved.
Sheriff Wade said Brad Johnson became interested in law enforcement because of the positive influence from a Student Resource Officer in his high school.
Wade said when Bibb County was in the process of putting SROs in schools, the first call he got was Johnson’s but Wade told him he needed him on patrol and Johnson said at least let him be over it. Wade said Johnson told him we would do his K9 Deputy job and do the SRO thing for free if he could be over it.
Sheriff Wade said injured deputy Chris Poole has been back to work every day. Poole stood on the steps behind Wade during the news conference Tuesday. He still has the bandage on his head. “In his emotional state and grieving process I’ve seen him go through, he’s gonna be able to go. He, too, wants to keep up with the fight,” Wade said.
Wade said he’s mad and he’s hurt by what happened and he hopes no one else ever has to go through what the families and his department have gone through.
Wade said, “Brad was ours, but he was everybody’s.”
Wade said, “It’s all been difficult. The most difficult thing for me personally is I couldn’t get the guy before he got to the woods.”
Wade also said through this tragic process he has learned you are your brother’s keeper.
The United States Honor Flag will stay with Deputy Brad Johnson until his internment on Friday, July 8.
This is is the same flag that stayed with Meridian Police Officer Kennis Croom until his internment. Croom, a Tuscaloosa County native, was also killed in the line of duty in Mississippi.
See the map for Johnson’s final route below:
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