Enfield Honors Fallen Officer, Authorities Release Police Tapes
Posted June 6, 2001 10:45 a.m. EDT
ENFIELD — One community is coming together to honor a police officer killed in the line of duty, and in the midst of the sadness, county officials decided to release the radio transmission tapes from the night of the shooting.
Early Monday morning, Lt. Tonya Gillikin's voice came over the police radio one last time just moments before she pulled over the two armed robbery suspects.
Gillikin's words clearly show she knew the two men inside the Nissan Sentra could be dangerous.
Then, Gillikin began the felony traffic stop along Highway 301 just outside Enfield.
Two minutes and 36 seconds later, a distress call came from her fellow officer.
The District Attorney had been holding the tapes as evidence but made a quick decision to release them late Wednesday afternoon.
The entire town of Enfield has been affected by the tragedy. Now, volunteers are banding together to surround and support some of those who are hurting most.
Everyone is expressing sadness in the community of about 4,000 people. Some are going beyond that by reaching out and comforting each other.
Stephanie Crowley usually works the phones as a receptionist at an Enfield insurance company but not this week.
She has been spending her days and part of her evenings volunteering at the Enfield Police Department.
"We've had a lot of people. We just recently moved into Enfield so there were a lot of people I had never seen before," said Crowley.
Crowley is not alone. Other residents have been dropping by wanting to do anything to help.
Methodist minister Joyce Reynolds is splitting her time between church duties and the police department.
"It helps me if it is nothing but answering a phone or running an errand," said Reynolds. "Just to be able to do something. It's what we all want to do."
Rev. David Phillips says a crisis has a way of redefining a community. Phillips says in death, as she did in life, Gillikin is bringing out the best in people.
"It's a terrible tragedy. There's no question. But I think it has exposed the fact that we are all humans and we all have needs and we all need to work together," said Phillips.
Phillips' church became a feeding center Monday as the tragedy unfolded. He says people have been calling the church daily wanting to know if there is anything they can do to help.
One lady came into the police department and asked for all the names of the police officers, because her church wanted to pray for them. Reporters: Todd Hauer andKen SmithPhotographers:Gil Hollingsworth and Greg Clark