McLennan County honored those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty on Thursday.
Dozens of people from the community and law enforcement officers came out to show their support.
“We are here to pay tribute to our fellow officers who paid the ultimate price and recognize them as our heroes. And also to remind their loved ones, some of them, which are behind us right now, that they are not forgotten and they are still very much part of our family,” says Sgt. Sam Key with the Waco Police Department.
Kathy Stanely and her friend Rita Regalado say officers put their lives on the line everyday for the community and the least they can do is come to the memorial service.
“I wish I was as half as brave as these people are every single day, and how grateful I am that they run into the danger so we don’t have to,” Stanely says.
“Thank you to all the officers, men and women who have served. We appreicate your service and your sacrifice,” Regalado says.
“Let us never take for granted their dedication to work unselfishly through the day and night. To protect all of our citizens,” says Chief Ryan Holt with the Waco Police Department.
During the service, a wreath was placed on the Peace Officers Memorial and the names of the fallen officers were read one by one as the bell tolled.
163 officers were killed in the line of duty in 2018. 12 of those were in Texas.
“Everyday that law enforcement and first responders put their uniform on, they have to fight. They never know if they are going to come home,” says Sgt. Jeff Kyle, who is the President of the American Valor Foundation.
“Peace officers play a critical role in proctecting our rights and freedom, and it’s with gratitude that we extend our heartfelt appreciation to these men and women,” Chief Holt says.
So far this year, there have been 43 officers killed in the line of duty and 3 of those officers were in Texas.