HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Two years ago, on December 6, 2019, Huntsville Constable Billy Clardy III was killed in the line of duty.
He was a member of the Strategic Team Against Drugs (STAC) and was shot dead during a planned drug purchase with the department. He died in Huntsville hospital that night.
Exactly two years later, HPD remembers him and the legacy he leaves behind.
Lt. Tony McElyea describes Clardy as “an officer that every officer should strive to be”. He says not a day goes by that he doesn’t think about his friend and colleague.
“It’s been two years,” said Lt. McElyea. “It’s hard to believe it’s been so long, but it’s also gone at the same time because we are constantly thinking about him. We try to honor him, respect him, try to emulate what he left behind in terms of the type of officer he was.
Although they started working at HPD the same year, Lt. McElyea was Clardy’s supervisor at the time.
“It’s just one of those days I’ll never forget,” he said. “I will never forget where I was, what I was doing. Like any traumatic event, you can replay it as if it were yesterday.
McElyea says the guys and girls from the STAC team visit Clardy’s grave every year on the anniversary of his death: “We talk to him, we visit him. We are together as a team.
Lt. McElyea says Clardy continues to inspire the team to this day.
“Billy was the ultimate professional,” he said. “His devotion to this city, to the department, was unwavering. He was someone everyone wanted to see at home in times of crisis. He was that person. He was a great teammate, he was a great person to work with, at his side. He made work fun while also being productive, as he served this city in a great way. “
One of the reasons HPD has been able to heal over the past two years is the unwavering support of the Huntsville citizen community.
STAC Officer Billy Clardy III’s name is engraved right next to his father’s at the Officers Memorial outside HPD so that generations to come will remember the sacrifice he made, in serving and in protecting the citizens of Huntsville.
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