West Texas police honor their fallen officers

West Texas police honor their fallen officers

WEST TEXAS (KWES) - May is National Police Officer Month and this week Odessa Police have been honoring fallen officers throughout the state of Texas.

It came to its apex Thursday morning off Highway 80.

Plenty of officers from Lubbock, Midland and many more were present for Thursdays activities that began in Odessa.

Interim OPD Chief Michael Gerke says though cities do have their differences, it's no surprise to see the support between local agencies.

"We work very well together with the Ector County Sheriff Office, Midland Police Department, Midland County Sheriff's Department, federal agencies," said Gerke. "So I think what you see is that coming together."

The department who had to travel the furthest for the event, Lubbock PD, had two officers and a retiree in attendance for their man who died in 2001.

Though one of the officers in attendance, Brook Jennings, didn't know him personally, he said it's an honor to be given the opportunity to represent and honor the families.

"Never let that memory of the fallen officers go away," said Jennings. "Again, that's mainly important for the families sake. But it's a humongous honor to be able and come and do event like this. Whether it's in Odessa, they just did one in Austin and Washington D.C. It's an honor to be here for the families."

The Midland Police also hosted theirs at Stonegate church.

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter spoke at the memorial and talked about the attack on law enforcement and how social media has hurt those in the job.

He did however say though the problem is nationwide, it hasn't truly hit west Texas, thanks to its people.

"They don't want law enforcement getting in their way and stopping them and that's the big thing," said Painter. "Citizens in this area want law enforcement. They want a semblance of some kind of protection. To protect their families, to protect themselves and we're blessed with that."

You can continue to pay respects to officers by lighting up a blue light on your porch throughout the week.

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