Friends, family celebrate life of late Meridian Officer Kennis Croom | #College. | #Students

Hundreds gathered Saturday afternoon at Shelton State Community College to celebrate the life of Kennis Croom, a Tuscaloosa native and Mississippi-based police officer who was killed last week in the line of duty.

Friends, family, community members and law enforcement officers from across West Alabama and Mississippi, where Croom served with the Meridian Police Department, joined Saturday’s service to pay their respects to Croom. 

Following the ceremony, a procession led Croom’s body to its final resting place at Memory Hill Gardens on Skyland Boulevard.

Croom, 30, died June 9 while responding to a domestic disturbance call. A suspect has since been charged in connection to the crime and Croom has been named a hero for saving the life of four children before he was killed.

Members of the public and police agencies pay their respects to Officer Kennis Croom, a Tuscaloosa native and Meridian, Mississippi police officer killed in the line of duty, during a visitation at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa.

Croom was born and raised in Tuscaloosa and is the son of former Tuscaloosa City Clerk Tracy Croom and the Rev. Dr. Kelvin Croom, now the senior pastor at Tuscaloosa’s College Hill Baptist Church and an ex-defensive back for the Crimson Tide and legendary Alabama coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant in the 1970s.

He’s also the nephew of Sylvester Croom, a standout center for the Crimson Tide from 1972-74 who went on to become the first Black head football coach in the Southeastern Conference when he was hired in 2004 by Mississippi State University and, earlier this year, was selected as part of the 2022 class of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Kennis Croom

During the service, members of the Croom family were given comforting and encouraging words from law enforcement officers and local officials.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who once served as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives and as spokesman for the Tuscaloosa County School System, thanked the Croom family for their kind and genuine character.

More:Mississippi police officer killed in the line of duty was from Tuscaloosa

More:PHOTOS: City Honors Officer Kennis Croom

“If Tuscaloosa had a royal family, it would be the Croom family,” said Merrill.

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