It’s an emotional week for one Maryland family. A local officer is honored at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial following a long journey that began with an injury in the line of duty.
William Talbert Sr. spent six years in the Navy before joining the Montgomery County Police Department. His passion was getting drunk drivers off the road and while it was a drunk driver that sent him to the hospital 30 years ago, it was his treatment for the injury that now has him being honored alongside hundreds of other fallen officers.
“He was just a phenomenal, phenomenal father,” says his son, William Talbert Jr.
He talks through tears as he looks down at his father’s name, newly etched into stone and into history.
“Ronald Reagan, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, if you could wrap those three up into one... that was my father.”
A 13-year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department, William Talbert Sr. was working a traffic stop in 1983 when a drunk driver rammed his police cruiser, pinning him between the two mangled pieces of machinery. When he finally made it to the hospital, it was the blood transfusion he was given to save his life that would end up taking it. Talbert Sr. contracted Hepatitis C and after a 29-year battle, passed away last January.
“Some people just get a knock on the door. I had my dad for 29 years after he got it.”
And this year, his name was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, the growing list of those killed in the line of duty. But Talbert Jr. isn’t only paying his respects as a son, but also as a brother in blue.
“He pinned my badge on me,” he says.
Now a Maryland State trooper, Talbert Jr. is targeting the same drunk drivers that his father so passionately pursued.
“As soon as I put the handcuffs on, I think of Dad. As soon as I walk up to the car, I think of Dad. I would text him just three letters, DUI, and he’d text back, “Good job.’”