Area law enforcement gathers at SPC to remember officers lost in 2022

Published: May. 3, 2023 at 5:07 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Last year, 245 peace officers across the country died in the line of duty, including 35 from Texas. All were honored Wednesday morning at the front entrance of South Plains College as law enforcement personnel past and present came together for the annual Peace Officer Memorial.

“The memorial is held annually. It is to recognize slain police officers throughout the state of Texas and nationally. This year, we’ve lost 245 peace officers nationally and within the state of Texas, we’ve lost 35 in 2022,” said Sam Stock, Texas Regional Director for ALERRT. “Being a retired police officer and having lost comrades in the profession, this means a great deal to me. It’s an honor to be able to speak on behalf of those who have been lost.”

Before reading off all the names of the slain officers from Texas, Stock reminded everyone why these events are important.

“These fine men and women were husbands, wives, daughters, sons, and to others... they were everything!,” he said.

Also attending the event were SPC’s officers in training who will be graduating within the next few weeks. Nick Goree, Law Enforcement Technology instructor, says it’s important his students know the reality of the dangers that come with the profession.

“One of our mottos here, as we train academy students is “Honor the Fallen, by training the living,” Goree said. “To have the academy students out here to honor these 35 individuals who gave their lives in 2022 is very important in the basis of why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

Levelland Police Chief Albert Garcia says SPC’s Law Enforcement Academy plays a great role in his community.

“We at Levelland Police Department, we try to do all we can to support them in this effort, because we think it’s so important,” he said.

The ceremony included the sounding of Taps, a 21-gun salute, and the traditional bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace”.

“We just want to make sure that their families know that we still think about them daily, and we’re going to do all that we can to make sure we honor them,” Chief Garcia said.

Although most people at Wednesday’s memorial never met any of the slain officers, Stock stressed the importance of the brotherhood among members of law enforcement.

“Whether I’ve never met these individuals in the past, they’re still my brothers and sisters.”