Officer Watters ‘makes life hard on criminals’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Last summer when Linden Police officer Dexter Watters heard about the robbery of an 81-year-old woman in his hometown, he took it personally.

Watters worked all weekend – including work on his own time – to track down Erie Tate and put him behind bars for the robbery.

Yesterday, his fellow officers and WAKA Channel 8 in Montgomery with their “Protect and Serve Award” honored Watters.

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Linden Police Chief Jeff Laduron, who said Watters has made life hard for criminals in his three and a half years on the force, nominated Watters.

“Since he has been here, we have solved just about every burglary we have had,” Laduron said. “The ones we have solved have been because of his contacts and determination. He has gotten a lot of burglars in this area.”

When the award was announced, Watters said, it caught him off guard.

“I was very surprised,” Watters said. “When I was working on the case I didn’t think anything about it. I was just doing my job.”

But, this case in particular Laduron said, was more than just a case of Watters “just doing his job.” Solving this crime, he said, let the people of Linden know it was safe to walk the streets.

“This case in particular, I was very proud of because the victim was an 81 year old woman living on a fixed income,” Laduron said. “You should be able to walk from the store to your house without the fear of being robbed.”

Without Watters and his contacts, Laduron said, tracking Tate down would not have been an easy task.

“Thanks to Dexter’s efforts and knowledge of people, he was able to identify the suspect,” Laduron said. “He tracked him all weekend until he was finally able to sneak up on him and catch him.”

When a burglary case comes up, Laduron said, they always look to Watters. And, he said, Watters always delivers.

Police work, Watters said, is something he has always been drawn to. But this particular case made him work even harder.

“This is just something I like to do,” Watters said. “In this particular case, it was an older person living on a fixed income. It is wrong to rob anyone, especially someone in that situation.”