ALICEVILLE, Ala. (WCBI) – It was just over one year ago that a Tuscaloosa Police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty.
Wednesday, his hometown of Aliceville dedicated a piece of their city in his memory.
“It’s important for us to realize the local heroes who lay their life down on behalf of their city and their country,” says mayor-elect Terrence Windham.
Ever since he was young, Dornell Cousette dreamed of doing one thing.
“When he was in high school, he was growing up with my kids, he said ‘Man, I’m going to be a police man,'” says Cousette’s cousin Thomas Wilkins.
Cousette would do just that, protecting and serving his community during a 13-year career as an investigator with the Tuscaloosa Police Department.
“He was a good policeman in Tuscaloosa,” Wilkins says. “The kids loved him. He would do anything for anybody.”
Tragically, Cousette would give his life in the line of duty while trying to bring in a suspect in September of 2019.
“His death was a tragedy to us all,” Windham says. “He was from the community of Aliceville and I felt that something should be done.”
Windham helped the city council pass a resolution to dedicate one of their city streets in honor of the fallen officer. Formerly 5th Avenue Southwest, Inv. Dornell Cousette Street is the same one where Cousette spent 18 years growing up in his childhood home.
A father of two daughters, Wilkins says he was a beloved member of the community.
“If you’re going to live, live with a good name,” he says. “And his kids man, I know they would be proud of him. And his family, his brother proud of him.”
In 2019, hundreds of people lined the streets of Pickens County with American flags in tribute to Cousette’s sacrifice. Windham hopes people will get that same feeling of unity and dedication when they look up and see Cousette’s name on that street sign.
“It would give them the hope that maybe even our younger generation might aspire to be in law enforcement some day to make a difference in their community,” he says.
“He might be gone, but he won’t be forgotten,” Wilkins says.