Monday, May 3, 2010

Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Month

2010 Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
Abilene, Taylor County, Texas

 The month of May is National Law Enforcement Officers Month. Memorial Services for fallen Law Enforcement Officers are conducted throughout the nation during the month of May. The Taylor County Commissioners Court as well as the Abilene City Council proclaimed the week of May 9th - 15th as National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Week. It was my honor to answer the Roll Call for my dad, at the Roll Call of fallen Law Enforcement Officers at the Memorial Service at McMurry University in Abilene on May 5th. My dad, Taylor County Deputy Sheriff J. B. "Jake" Wasson is listed on the Lost Lawman Memorial located at the Offices of the Sheriffs' Association of Texas in Austin and on the Texas Peace Officer Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol in Austin. Please check out the web site of the Sheriff's Association of Texas under links on this blog. Click on Lost Lawman Memorial on that site. Then check by county or by officer's name.
My dad, Taylor County Deputy Sheriff, J.B. "Jake" Wasson;
End of Watch January 12, 1967
It is ironic that as we made plans to attend this memorial service in Abilene that an Abilene Police Dept. Motor Officer, Rodney Holder was killed while in pursuit of a traffic violator at So. 12th & Sales Blvd, just a few blocks from the site of the Memorial Service.
Memorial Table at front of room, Photo by Richard Valdez, APD Retired.
Back of Program for Law Enforcement Memorial Service
Inside of Program at right below:
APD Badge with black Mourning Band
in honor of fallen officers

Front of Program
 Program For Law Enforcement
Memorial Service

Flap Pole in front of Garrison Center,
location of Memorial Service
L to R:  Retired APD Officer Richard Valdez,
J. Bryan Wasson; Abilene Chief of Police Stan Standrige
Officer Jim Davis, son of  long time dear friend,
 the late APD Sgt. Bill Davis;
Jim also has a son on the Abilene Police Force;
When he graduated from the Abilene Police Academy,
Jim pinned Bill Davis' badge on him.
(Photo by Richard Valdez)

APD Chaplin Donna Kleman, Motor Officer Mike Richer
Motor Officer War Stories:
L T R: Mike Ricker, Terry Monroe, J. Bryan Wasson
Myself and my bride of 54 years enter the Garrison
Center for the Law Enforcement Memorial Service
(Photo Courtesy, Richard Valdez)

Abilene Police Department Motor Officer, Rodney Holder;
End of Watch, April 29, 2010

Military Law Enforcement - USAF Security Forces

1st Lt. Joseph D. Heltton, USAF Security Forces
End of Watch: Sept. 8, 2009

This year fallen Military Law Enforcement Officers were honored.  To the best of my knowledge, this was the first time military law enforcement was included in this memorial service. An Officer from Dyess AFB 7th Security Forces Squadron was on the program. Police cars from Dyess AFB Security Forces also participated in the funeral procession of Motor Officer Rodney Holder. I appreciate the participation by and the honoring of fallen military law enforcement officers as my own law enforcement career started in the US Air Force in what was then known as  Air Police and is now known as Security Forces.  I once wore the badge pictured above with the wording, "Air Police" rather than, "Security Police. While a member of the Abilene Police Department, I was also in the Air Force Reserve and assigned to the Base Police Squadron at Dyess, AFB.

This Memorial Service could not have occurred without the hard work of APD Chaplin Donna Kleman. She is known to most people as Chaplin Donna. She had lots of help including Chaplins from other Departments, but my hat is off to Chaplin Donna. Surely God sent her to do a special work. Many thanks to McMurry University and to many members of the McMurry Staff for hosting the 2010 Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Service.

(Special Note:) Tuesday, May 11, 2010
APD Mourns the Loss Of Another Officer

Officer Boyd Burns
I have been informed that Officer Boyd Burns, a 25 year veteran of the Abilene Police Department,  passed away  last night at his residence in Potosi.  No indications of anything other than natural causes were present at the residence. One source advised  that it was believed to be the result of a heart attack.

Wichita Falls, Texas

The Wichita Falls Police Department conducted a Memorial Service for fallen Wichita Falls Police Officers on  May 10, 2010. Six fallen officers were honored. The name of Motor Officer Hugh Fuller was added to the Memorial Stone in front of the Wichita Falls Police Department building the previous day. Officer Fuller died on October 22, 1927 while responding to a motor vehicle traffic accident at 9th & Bluff.

Bowie, Texas

At present time, I live in Bowie, Texas. To the best of my knowledge, the Bowie Police Department under Chief David Scruggs, is the only law enforcement agency that honors fallen officers by stars on the badge. Note: The two stars at the bottom of the badge in photo at right above.
The two fallen Bowie, Texas Officers are:
William H. (Jack) Hill, EOE July 6, 1932
Tommy L. Roland, EOW:  June 4, 1959

May 11, 2010, JBW

Wasson's Looking Back
Looking Back by J. Bryan Wasson
Looking Back
J. Bryan Wasson