ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Hearts are heavy this week as many police officers pay respects to their fallen brothers and sisters in blue.
Odessa Police Department (OPD) is one department that has experienced their fair share of tragedy. A former OPD captain sat down with us to remember the four of the officers he watched give up their lives in the line of duty.
Five officers lost their lives while serving the Odessa community. Former Operations Captain, Chuck Moad, was there during two separate tragedies.
"They were all very different people but they were all very fun to work with," said Moad.
Moad worked with four of the officers who gave up their lives.
In 1987, Moad was arresting burglary suspects. One of the men tried fighting him and had a knife, that's when he called for backup. Officer Scott Smith responded. Smith was riding a motorcycle and tried to get there as fast as possible.
"He was two blocks away, running lights and sirens and ran into an elderly lady, ran into the side of her car," said Moad. "He had the crash in August and he lived until February. I think it was three days after his wreck, his wife found out she was pregnant with their second and she was born after he died."
Nearly 20 years later, Moad was still with the department when the largest deadly officer-involved shooting in OPD history happened.
"I will never forget that day," said Moad. "There are certain things in your career you don't forget, they're just etched in your memory and that is the worst day of my life."
Moad was at the movies with his family on Sept. 8, 2007, when he got a call saying three officers were down while responding to a domestic violence call.
"These are guys you expect to grow old with and retire with. These were good officers. It wasn't someone that took extraordinarily dangerous chances," said Moad. "They were good, contentious officers."
Cpl. Arlie Jones and Cpl. John "Scott" Gardner died on the scene. Cpl. Abel Marquez was loaded into a patrol car by his brother, a Sgt. with OPD at the time, and died four long days later.
"I remember going to church Sunday for a little while cause I just needed something, I sat in church a little while and ended up at the PD," said Moad.
Moad said there's only one day to have the officer's spirits live on. "To tell the families that we love them and we remember them and always will."
A memorial service will be held Thursday at Sunset Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home at 10 a.m. to honor all officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. So far this year, 19 officers and five K9 police dogs have died in Texas.