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Ala. FF dies of COVID-19

Keith Morgan, 49, was a member of the Sand Rock Fire Department, as well as a deputy with the county sheriff’s office


Photo/Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office

William Thornton

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ala. — A Cherokee County deputy who died Wednesday of COVID-19 complications is being remembered as “one great man.”

Cpl. Keith Morgan, 49, of Sand Rock, was a native of Cherokee County. He had been with the sheriff’s office since 2009 and was also a firefighter with the Sand Rock Fire Dept. He is survived by his wife and two daughters, his parents and a sister.

Funeral services were this afternoon at Perry Funeral Home Chapel.

Sheriff Jeff Shaver told WEIS that Morgan was a “dedicated deputy and a very hard worker. Keith spent most of his time on and off duty serving the people.”

On Facebook, Shannon Allred Miller called Morgan “one great man,” while Chris Boman remembered going on his first fire call with Morgan in Sand Rock.

“Keith was a wonderful young man,” Nancy Vaughn wrote. “He will be missed.”

COVID-19 has been responsible for the deaths of at least three other Alabama law enforcement officials in 2022. Deputy Steve Finley, a criminal investigator with Madison County Sheriff’s Office, died in January of COVID-19, as did Hanceville police Lt. Kevin Len Pounders. Steve Bobbitt, a 13-year veteran of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, died earlier this month, the fourth member of the agency to perish from the virus.

A preliminary report from the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum states that 458 local, state, tribal and federal officers died in the line of duty in 2021, with 301 dying of COVID-19. The virus claimed 182 officers in 2020.

That marks two years in a row where COVID-19 was the leading cause of death for law enforcement officers.


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