Fallen officers honored at Texas Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony

It was one year ago when Connie Whites lost her husband Round Rock police officer Charles Whites.

“This past year's been tough. It's a lot to work through,” said Whites. "There are a lot of different things you never expect to have to work through."

Officer Whites lost his life while working a fatal traffic crash in Round Rock. His wife was among the grieving families at the Texas Peace Officers' Memorial Ceremony Monday. She said she felt his presence at the ceremony.

Last year there were more than 100 nationwide line-of-duty deaths, with 21 of those in Texas.

“We thank you for your courage, and for your sacrifice that makes Texas so great,” said Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abbott elaborated on the sacrifices police make and the uncertainty of what lies ahead as they go to work.

“They wear the badge for each and every one of us because they care about the people and the communities they serve,” said Abbott. "They do whatever it takes to protect us, even if it means risking their own lives."

To continue Officer Whites' selfless legacy, his wife started a fund to help families who recently lost a first responder using the money the Round Rock community donated to her family. 

“So I've taken all that money into a victim’s services and community assistance fund under the Greater Round Rock Community Foundation,” said Whites.

The peace officer memorial is a reminder of just how much officers put on the line. 

“Honoring his legacy is taking care of our fellow police officers and respecting them,” said Whites.