Texas leads the U.S when it comes to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. That’s according to The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.
The group is set to release a report Wednesday that lists Texas at the top, with 14 deaths since January. In 2015, according to the fund, 12 were killed.
Six Texas law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty during July. Five in Dallas, and one in Central Texas, early Monday morning, Sergeant Craig Hutchinson was gunned down outside of his home.
“My husband's phone started going off about 1:30 in the morning, he was called out and all I knew was that an officer was shot at his house,” says Kim.
Her husband was one of the first responders. FOX 7 has chosen to withhold her last name, and the agency where her husband works.
“It was just a tough day all around. When he got home he told me that this was the toughest day of his law enforcement career, and he's been a police officer for 22 years.”
She says it’s been tough for the entire law enforcement community. Though she says she doesn’t fear for her family’s safety, she isn’t sleeping as well at night.
“Just recently has it been have I really felt anxious about it. The climate has just changed so much.”
That’s why the outpouring of support, especially in the recent days has a much bigger meaning.
“I don't think that anybody fully understands unless you are a law enforcement or part of the law enforcement family,” she says, adding, “I think it's hard to understand how important those acts really are. We see the negativity that's all over the place. And to see your neighbors have a sign or to see your neighbors have a blue light. That's such a visual way to see that people are supporting you. Just like my kids can see what we're doing, what your dad is going through.”
Last year the Central Texas community was rocked by another loss. Hutto Police Sergeant Chris Kelley was killed during a routine traffic stop.
“They're leaving families without mothers and fathers and it's just heartbreaking,” says Kim.
On Tuesday she joined forces with Williamson County Justice of The Peace Bill Gravell to hand out yard signs at the Precinct 3 courthouse. Gravell and a group of community leaders raised money to buy 1000 yard signs emblazoned with “Blessed Are The Peacemakers”.
“That has always been a Bible verse that law enforcement has seen as the backbone of who they are,” Gravell says adding, “As a judge everyday I deal with law enforcement, I am the first to say that we certainly should hold them accountable when they are wrong. But I am the first citizen to say we should stand behind our law enforcement when difficult days are there.”
They have 1000 signs to hand out, but hope to see 10,000 one day dotting Central Texas’ front yard.
“These are simple signs that just say hey you know what, we care about you, and you have our support,” Gravell says.
Little did he know, his community would need it most right about now.
“These guys are out, and these women are out trying to make a difference and do the right thing,” Kim says fighting back tears, “they are just innocent victims, it's just heartbreaking, it has to stop.”
Starting at 8:00 AM on Wednesday a group of people will be handing the signs out at the Williamson County Precinct 3 Courthouse, 301 SE Inner Loop, Georgetown, Texas, 78626.