The Atlanta Police Department is highlighting how officers “put their lives on the line every single day” to protect the community after posting video footage of an officer who was hit by a car on a highway as he investigated a separate crash.
“We often say, ‘officers put their lives on the line every single day to protect and serve their community’-not many understand how real that statement is. Whether officers are conducting a traffic stop, serving warrants on known gang members in a dimly lit housing complex, patrolling the streets at 3 a.m., or responding to an auto accident on I285, their safety is always at risk and their bravery is always on display,” the City of Atlanta Police Department posted on Facebook Tuesday, accompanied by footage of the recent crash.
The footage shows Officer Steven Randerson, a nine-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department, investigating a crash earlier this month on I-75. The officer had parked his patrol car behind the crashed vehicle, and was standing within the right shoulder of the highway.
A car approaching the scene was driving at an accelerated speed, according to officials, and lost control in wet conditions.
The car crashed into Randerson as he had his back turned.
“It happened so quick – I was hit by the SUV,” Randerson told Channel 2 Action News.
Randerson was seriously injured from the crash, officials said, and he recounted to the outlet that, “Right now, it’s still hard to walk.”
He’s currently healing and not on duty.
“We are grateful that Officer Randerson is in the healing process. This could have ended so much worse. This incident is a reminder of the many dangerous situation’s officers can and do encounter each day and how grateful we should all be for their service. We are proud of the work our officers do and are mindful of their bravery,” the department said in the Facebook post.
“Unless you’ve been an officer, there is no way to grasp the gravity of what happens in a day or what can happen during any 911 call response.”
The department also said the video is a reminder to follow Georgia’s Move Over Law, which requires drivers to move over one lane when an emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of the road, “to avoid exactly this type of thing from happening.”