Seven years after a young Rocky Mount officer lost his life following an on-duty wreck, the state is honoring the late Officer Alan C. Silver.
The N.C. Board of Transportation recently approved a resolution honoring Silver by naming the bridge at U.S. 64 and Winstead Avenue the Officer Alan C. Silver Bridge. Board member Gus Tulloss made the motion for the naming at the June 5 meeting after a local effort for the honor that had the backing of the Rocky Mount City Council.
The 23-year-old officer wrecked his patrol car a short distance from the bridge while responding to an April 29, 2007, robbery at a local bank. He died May 2, 2007, and became the first Rocky Mount officer killed in the line of duty in the department’s history.
Rocky Mount police Sgt. Ricky Parks, who recruited Silver to the department, said he saw a natural-born leader emerge from the Halifax County native during basic law enforcement training, where Silver was named platoon leader and class spokesperson. Parks was emotional at the board meeting, remembering the officer who only served 13 months.
“This means a great deal to us,” Parks said to the transportation board members. “These little things are huge in the hearts of so many of us, so thank you for all the work you do.”
The young officers’ parents, Alvin and Glendora Silver, said they were honored by the designation.
“(Alan) will always be ‘Our Hero’ and to know that the state of North Carolina, the city of Rocky Mount and the Rocky Mount Police Department have agreed that the sacrifice he paid will never be forgotten by dedicating the bridge as a memorial to him is priceless,” the Silvers said in a statement. “All the tears nor words can express how we truly feel.”
City Manager Charles Penny reflected on the impact the young officer’s death had on the community, recalling the outpouring of support at the memorial services as well as respects paid for the family during the procession to the burial.
“Alan’s memory and legacy – no matter how short – still lives on,” Penny said. “There is a picture of him in the call room at the police department where the officers gather every day as a constant reminder, but this bridge will be another indication of the appreciation we have for the sacrifice he made.”
An official dedication of the bridge will be scheduled in the coming months after the sign is made and arrangements are finalized.