Peace officers killed in line of duty honored at Capitol
A pipe and drum corps led the way...followed by representatives from more than 100 law enforcement agencies across the state.
56 honor guard teams, along with officers on horses and motorcycles.
Among the honor guards, Corpus Christi Police. The department is coping with a different kind of loss. Their police chief, Floyd Simpson was killed in a motorcycle accident on Sunday.
"Our department right now is still trying to deal with all the emotions and our loss right now. Losing our...our number 1. Our chief," said Lt. Michael Pena.
Land Commissioner George P. Bush addressed the families of fallen officers at a Capitol ceremony.
"To all the surviving family members who are here today we say this: thank you," Bush said.
Todd Harrison, the President of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas says 24 officers have been killed in the line of duty since the last Peace Officers' Memorial in May 2013.
"Basically in the state of Texas, we lose an officer a month," Harrison said. "There were 3 people's names that went up on the wall that I knew personally. It's poignant and it's tragic. But it's the nature of our job. Sometimes you may be called to lay down your life," Harrison said.
The names read aloud included Travis County Deputy Jessica Hollis who drowned checking on a low water crossing last year.
Hollis's dad, Bill Wright was there to receive the Peace Officers' Memorial Foundation Medal of Honor.
"It's hard. I mean it brings back a lot of...you appreciate the ability to be honored but it's hard to bring up the memories again," Wright said.
Krystal Clark is a Travis County 911 dispatcher. She took the call from Deputy Hollis the night she died and communicated with the deputies helping search for her.
"My focus is always my officers' safety. They're really important to me. So to know whenever one of them is in danger is not an easy thing to deal with," Clark said.
Clark says her emotions didn't get the best of her until days after the incident. But at events like this, she doesn't have to hold back.
"Just to get to enjoy the honor of all the officers that have been lost. It's just nice that all of Texas can come together in such a way especially at a time whenever there's kind of...emotions back and forth of how people feel about law enforcement. It's just nice to have everything be all about support," Clark said.
CLEAT says the names here are for officers killed in the line of duty. In the case of APD's Clay Crabb -- he was killed on his way to work.
As for Corpus Christi's Chief Simpson, CLEAT says it has yet to be determined if his name will be added to the wall.