What does it take to be a police officer?
“It's not just courage, it's a calling. It's a desire to serve. It's a willingness to put others before yourself,” said Assistant Chief Willie Richards, Round Rock Police Department.
According to all who know him, Round Rock officer Charles Whites, embodies just that.
He demonstrated it on the morning of Feb. 25. “We were doing a lane closure for a fatality that occurred further up the interstate and pushing vehicular traffic further off the roadway,” said Richards.
Twenty-five year-old Amir Azad was killed that day in a hit-and-run. Officer Whites, while working that hit and run, was allegedly hit by accused drunk driver Raul Martinez.
Richards said Whites is still in a rehabilitation facility in Austin.
The Round Rock Police Officers Association posted that Whites suffered a serious head injury.
He still has a long recovery ahead.
In the meantime, his friends at the department are reminiscing on the old times.
“Charles is a magnificent man. Charles' heart has always been to serve and to take care of his community. As many of our people do, he puts himself in harm's way,” said Richards.
Sunday from 6:00 to 7:00 am a portion of northbound I-35 from FM 620 to University Boulevard will be closed so investigators can reconstruct the scene.
As he fights to heal his body, Whites' friends remain hopeful, and thankful that the department did not have to bury him. “We haven't had an injury like this, or we haven't experienced a loss, by the grace of God,” said Richards. The police association and department are hoping the public can attend a BBQ and fundraiser for Whites. Information is posted below.
Sunday, April 15 from 10:30 A.M.-6:30 P.M.
The Alan Baca Center
301 Bagdad Ave.