The city of Tuscaloosa will memorialize a Meridian, Mississippi Police officer who was killed in the line of duty Thursday as one of its own, Tuscaloosa Mayor Maddox said Friday morning.

As the Thread reported Thursday, Officer Kennis Croom was a Tuscaloosa native and was fatally shot in a double-murder in Meridian Thursday. Police captured the man they believe is responsible for the killings late Friday morning.

Here in the Druid City, it's hard to find any long-time resident whose life has not been touched by the Croom family, whether they know it or not.

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Officer Croom was son to Kelvin Croom and nephew to Sylvester Croom, who are both icons in the Alabama Crimson Tide football program. Kelvin is also the pastor of College Hill Missionary Baptist in Alberta.

He was also the son of Tracey Croom, who worked for the City of Tuscaloosa for almost 30 years, including seven as City Clerk under Mayor Maddox.

Kennis was brother to Kevin Croom, who serves as Executive Director of the Croom Foundation -- the family's nonprofit that aims to foster education and athletic excellence in young people growing up in high-crime, disadvantaged areas in West Alabama.

One of Officer Croom's sisters is Tamara Croom, who serves as the deputy director of the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency.

His other sister, Teresa Croom Bivens, is an assistant principal in the Tuscaloosa City School System where she is proactively dedicated to improving the lives of the young students at Southview Elementary School.


Kennis Croom, the Meridian Police Officer who was killed Thursday, was born and raised in Tuscaloosa and became a law enforcement officer in 2013. Before joining the Meridian Police last year, Croom served with several departments in Mississippi and Alabama, including a stint with the Eutaw Police Department in neighboring Greene County.

Croom will be laid to rest in Northport, and Maddox said he and Chief Brent Blankley have instructed the Tuscaloosa Police Department and other municipal employees to treat Croom's funeral as they would the passing of a TPD officer.

Police escorted Croom as he was brought back home from Meridian, including a contingent of TPD officers traveled with him from the Greene County Line to an area funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the Croom family has asked those who would like to honor Kennis to make a donation to the Foundation, which you can do by clicking here.

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