The Wichita Falls Police Department honored all law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty in a memorial ceremony, according to Chief Manuel Borrego in an interview today, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Borrego said they were honoring not only the seven WFPD officers who have fallen in the line of duty throughout history, but also all the peace officers across America who have perished.
The chief further said 105 peace officers have died in the line of duty during the past year. Thirteen of those were in the Lone Star State. Texas had more officers killed in the line of duty than any other state.
Borrego, during his speech at the ceremony, said, "All gave some, some gave all and we are here today paying tribute to those who gave all."
He further said, "It's always a great honor to pay tribute to the fallen officers. This was a very solemn occasion."
Borrego said law enforcement agencies from North Texas were all well-represented at the ceremony including the Texas Department of Public Safety, Sheppard Air Force Base, the Wichita County District Attorney's Office and the Wichita County Sheriff's Office as well as WFPD which hosted the event in front of the police department.
He said it was also nice to see three of the families whose officers fell in the line of duty including the Collins, the Fellows and the Rappolees. He said the names of each one of the fallen heroes was called out followed by the end of watch date. TAPS was played and a 21-gun salute followed in honor of those who sacrificed their lives.
The hymn "Amazing Grace" was played on bagpipes during the somber memorial service. Borrego said the overcast skies matched the mood of the event.
The Chief said it was also heart-warming to see several retired officers present including Major Trainham, Lt. Whiteacre, Lt. Roy Stone, Officer Bill Baker, Sgt. John Cummings and Officer Harvey Norduran.
The seven officers who died in the line of duty include Lt. Tommy Collins, Edwin Walter Rappolee, Robert Fellows, C.S. Carlisle, Russell E.Scott, Robert Fennell and Hugh S. Fuller.
Collins was the last to perish after he was shot by a sniper on July 25, 1989. He was responding to a call on the eastern side of Wichita Falls at the time. Workers were fired upon by the sniper when other officers responded. Collins came to the aid of his men who were pinned down and in a dangerous position when he intervened. He was shot and killed while protecting his men.
We should be grateful to all the men and women who pin on a badge on a daily basis and risk their lives for us.
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