By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times
Terri Endert, the wife of a Birmingham police officer, knows what law enforcement faces every day and knew she wanted to do something to remember Sgt. Wytasha ‘Wyt’ Carter, who was killed in the line of duty nearly a year ago.
“When I heard of the passing of Sgt. Carter, I felt it on my heart to have something done for him and something done for the precinct,” said Endert, whose husband works in the North Precinct where Carter was assigned, “so I called up one of my friends and he owns a metal business and I asked him if we could come up with something for us to present to the precinct that would honor the family and officers of North Precinct,” she said.
The result is a metal shield honoring Carter that will hang in the North Precinct. The shield was presented to Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith and the Birmingham City Council Tuesday morning.
Endert’s friend, Chris Underwood, made and cast the shield at his metal working shop, CNS CnC in Twin Falls, Idaho.
“We worked together over the course of a few months and we came up with [this shield]. I hope it accomplishes letting the family and the public know there are citizens that actually care and have the police officers on their hearts. I want the family to know that I care, and I know what they are going through because I have family that also serves and protects.”
Endert’s husband, Sgt. Carl Endert, said it meant a lot to have his wife think of the men who patrol the community. “It means a great deal to me because the time that this happened was one of the days I could have been working with him… so it means a lot to me that she saw it as someone that serves in the same capacity as me, he needs to be recognized.”
Lieutenant Richard Haluska, president of the Birmingham Fraternal Order of Police Lodge One, presented the shield to Chief Smith.
“Sgt. Carter was more than a police officer, he was a father, brother and somebody’s son,” Haluska said. “He is a man that gave his life to the city and Mrs. Endert found it in her heart to make this and we thought this would be a proper time to present it to the chief, the mayor and that it be hung at North Precinct as a memorial for Sgt. Carter.”
Next Monday, Jan. 13 marks the one-year commemoration of Carter’s death.
Though Carter’s widow was not present, Haluska said she is very appreciative of the Endert’s efforts.
Chief Smith said the shield is a “tremendously kind gesture.”
“Our officers go out each day . . . to serve the community, try to do the very best job that they can and also try to decrease crime in the city of Birmingham. Sgt. Carter was just someone who went above and beyond to do everything he can, not just for the department but for people and also for his family. I think it’s a great tribute to him and a great tribute to his family should they ever come by the station and just know that it’s there in his honor as long as the precinct is there.”