The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office hosted an important guest speaker at the request of the Specialized Training Unit at the Bladen County Training Center in White Lake on Monday night. The guest speaker was NC Highway Patrol Trooper Harry Stegall, retired. He is the author of the book Badge, Bullets, and Blood that tells of his fight for life after having been shot seven times and left for dead on the side of the road.
Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Gary Turlington said, “He was assaulted by a wanted fugitive that he had stopped for speeding on US Highway 74. Trooper Stegall had absolutely no idea who he had stopped. His oration is a story about the will to live being a psychological force to fight to survive.”
The objective of this important lesson is to impress upon officers that death can be around every corner when trouble is least expected, stated Sgt. Turlington.
In attendance for the event were Elizabethtown Police Chief Tony Parrish, White Lake Police Chief Bruce Smith, members of the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Sondra Guyton representing the Bladen Community College, Dan Allen who is Vice-President of Four County Electric Membership Corporation and members of the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy, and Cadets of the Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy along with staff escorts.
“The fugitive that attempted to murder Trooper Stegall was apprehended by Sgt. Humphrey who is now the Program Coordinator for Robeson Community College,” stated Sgt. Turlington. “Trooper Stegall tells of the perilous journey through his career and the significant dangers that exist.”
Sgt. Turlington said Trooper Stegall gives his audiences a bracelet as a reminder to those individuals. Upon those bracelets are the letters “TKWYA B YDKWTA” which is representative of “They know who you are. But, you don’t know who they are.”