Citizens and law enforcement officers gathered Monday morning to honor the 619 police officers who died in the line of duty over the past year, as part of the local National Police Officers Memorial Day event held at the Cailloux Theater.
Speaking to law enforcement officers from the Kerrville Police Department, Kerr County Sheriff’s Office and various other agencies, KPD Chief McCall offered support and encouragement.
“As we all know this can be a dangerous profession and I would like to briefly address all of the law enforcement officers present,” McCall said. “I would like to talk to you about investments and what that means in our profession. While we spend many dollars in training and tools, a law enforcement agency’s greatest investment is not the uniform and badge you wear, it’s not the gun you carry or the even the car you drive. A law enforcement agency’s greatest investment is you, the law enforcement officer. You are the backbone of safety in your community, you are the thin blue line who have taken an oath to protect the citizens. You are society’s most critical investment.”
Quoting national statistics, McCall offered advice on how to remain protected and vigilant.
“Statistics show that being a law enforcement officer is one of the most dangerous professions in our country. In an effort to reduce this statistic there are things we can do as peace officers to protect ourselves and help ensure we return home to our family. One, always wear your vest when you are in uniform; two, always utilize the seatbelt in your vehicle; and three, always train hard and stay on top of new tactics. These three things will help reduce the risk to you in your daily duties. Take care of each other. Stay safe. Make it home safe.”
Then, as is tradition, McCall read the names of the 19 Texas police officers who lost their lives over the past year while performing their duties and protecting citizens.
Those officers are:
• Sergeant Stephen George Jones, Concho County Sheriff's Office, End of Watch: Monday, May 10, 2021. Sergeant Stephen Jones and Deputy Sheriff Samuel Leonard were shot and killed while responding to a complaint about a dog in Eden, Texas.
• Deputy Sheriff Samuel Alexander Leonard, Concho County Sheriff's Office, End of Watch: Monday, May 10, 2021. Deputy Sheriff Samuel Leonard and Sergeant Stephen Jones were shot and killed while responding to a complaint about a dog in Eden, Texas.
• Sergeant Joshua Blake Bartlett, Lubbock County Sheriff's Office, End of Watch: Thursday, July 15, 2021. Sergeant Bartlett and three other members of his SWAT team were shot as they engaged a barricaded subject.
• Reserve Deputy Sheriff Tom Larry Hoobler, Childress County Sheriff's Office, End of Watch: Saturday, July 17, 2021. Reserve Deputy Sheriff Tom Hoobler died after suffering a heart attack on duty while directing traffic.
• Police Officer Lewis Andrew "Andy" Traylor: Austin Police Department, End of Watch: Saturday, July 31, 2021. Police Officer Andy Traylor succumbed to injuries sustained in a vehicle crash three days earlier while responding to an emergency call for service. He remained on life support and passed away on July 31, 2021, after his organs were donated.
• Investigator Dusty L. Wainscott, Grayson County Sheriff's Office, End of Watch: Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. Investigator Dusty Wainscott collapsed and died after chasing and getting into a physical altercation with two suspects who fled on foot during a traffic stop.
• Senior Police Officer William John Jeffrey, Houston Police Department, End of Watch: Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. Senior Police Officer Bill Jeffrey was shot and killed while serving a narcotics warrant in Harris County.
• Deputy Constable Kareem Anthony Atkins, Harris County Constable's Office - Precinct 4, End of Watch: Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Deputy Constable Kareem Atkins was shot and killed from ambush while arresting a robbery suspect, who also wounded two other deputies.
• Senior Patrolman Sherman Otto Benys, Jr., Kingsville Police Department, End of Watch: Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. Senior Patrolman Sherman Benys succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained three days earlier while responding to a domestic dispute.
• Police Officer Richard Lee Houston, II, Mesquite Police Department, End of Watch: Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. Police Officer Richard Houston was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance in the parking lot of a grocery store
• Special Agent Anthony Salas, Texas Department of Public Safety - Criminal Investigations Division, End of Watch: Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. Special Agent Anthony Salas was killed in a traffic accident while conducting joint tactical operations with the United States Border Patrol's BORTAC unit.
• Corporal Charles Galloway, Harris County Constable's Office - Precinct 5, End of Watch: Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. Corporal Charles Galloway was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop.
• Sergeant Ramon Gutierrez, Harris County Sheriff's Office, End of Watch: Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Sergeant Ramon Gutierrez was struck and killed by a drunk driver while directing traffic.
• Deputy Sheriff Lorin Marie Readmond, Loving County Sheriff's Office, End of Watch: Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. Deputy Sheriff Lorin Readmond was killed in a vehicle collision while enroute to assist another deputy.
• Deputy Constable Neil Adams, San Jacinto County Constable's Office - Precinct 1, End of Watch: Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Deputy Constable Neil Adams was shot and killed after he responded to a report of a disorderly subject.
• Police Officer David Glen Evans, San Antonio Police Department, End of Watch: Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. Police Officer David Evans succumbed to complications of gunshot wounds sustained on Jan. 3, 2003 during a domestic dispute, during which three other officers were also shot.
• Sergeant Barbara Majors Fenley, Eastland County Sheriff's Office, End of Watch: Thursday, March 17, 2022. Sergeant Barbara Fenley was killed following a traffic accident while trying to evacuate residents during the rapidly moving Eastland Complex Fires.
• Deputy Sheriff Darren Almendarez, Harris County Sheriff's Office, End of Watch: Thursday, March 31, 2022. Deputy Sheriff Darren Almendarez was shot and killed when he responded after seeing three men committing a vehicle burglary.
• Deputy Constable Jennifer Chavis, Harris County Constable's Office - Precinct 7, End of Watch: Saturday, April 2, 2022. Deputy Constable Jennifer Chavis was killed when her patrol car was struck by a drunk driver.
• Deputy Sheriff Robert Adam Howard, Harris County Sheriff's Office, End of Watch: Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Deputy Sheriff Howard was responding to a call for service when he was involved in a vehicle crash.