AUSTIN, Texas - Danielle Story-Stinson is the president of Metroplex C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors). The organization helped her during her time of grief.
"My husband was officer Craig Story he was a motor officer for the Arlington police department and he was killed in the line of duty in January the 13th of 2010,” she says.
Since then, she has been helping plan the Texas Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony each year. This year 18 fallen officers were honored at the Texas State Capitol:
Thomas Ray, Jr., Orange County Sheriff's Office
David Gomez, DHS Customs and Border Protection
Jerry Walker, Little Elm Police Department
Clinton Greenwood, Harris County Constable Precinct 3
Isaac Morales, DHS Customs and Border Protection
Shana Tedder, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Miguel Moreno, III San Antonio Police Department
Jason Fann, Yoakum County Sheriff's Office
Elise Ybarra, Abilene Police Department
Monty Platt, West Texas A&M Police Department
Steve Perez, Houston Police Department
Mark Diebold, Tarrant County Constable Precinct 5
Elias Martinez, Jr., Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department
Floyd East, Jr., Texas Tech University Police Department
Thomas Nipper, Texas Department of Public Safety
Rogelio Martinez, DHS Customs and Border Protection
Damon Allen, Texas Department of Public Safety
Kenneth Copeland, San Marcos Police Department
All of them died in the line of duty in 2017.
One of those 18 honored was Kenneth Copeland. His name is now inscribed on the Memorial Wall. Officer Copeland died on December 6th 2017, after he went to serve an arrest warrant at a home in San Marcos. When officers knocked on the door of the home, a man inside opened fire, hitting Copeland several times. He worked for San Marcos Police Department for 19 years and was the first SMPD officer killed from their department while on the job.
"It's much harder for agencies who have lost for the first time. It's something they were not prepared for in most cases and a lot of times they don't know what to do so an event like this gets them connected with other agencies who have suffered that kind of a loss,” Story-Stinson adds.
C.O.P.S. offers year round grief and peer support. Proceeds from events like Sunday morning’s memorial ride go towards the organization. Story-Stinson says this year the ride raised more than $54,000.
48 additional officers were honored during Sunday’s memorial. If a family or agency finds someone who hasn’t been recognized in the past, they do so that year. Some dating back as early as the 1850’s.