LUBBOCK, Texas – A somber anniversary for the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office as July 15 approaches. One year without Assistant Commander for the SWAT Unit, Sgt. Joshua Bartlett.

Bartlett was shot and killed in a standoff that was hours long with a deranged gunman in Levelland last July. He was only 38 years old. He left behind a wife and beautiful family.

Bartlett lived a life full of service. A veteran first, and then he spent nine years working for the LCSO’s SWAT Unit. Those who worked with Bartlett and knew him personally said he was the best leader and teacher, and he was always the first to respond.

“Josh Bartlett is not somebody to replace overnight,” said Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe.

He said even when the other SWAT team members heard of Bartlett’s passing that day, they still conducted themselves in a manner that brought a successful conclusion; no other officers sustained injuries during the standoff.

“That is a testament to them,” he added.

Kenny Burns, the Law Enforcement Academy Director for South Plains College taught Bartlett ten years ago as he was going through the academy.

Burns said, “We try to expose them to more things than just the classroom. To try to prepare them mentally, to try to prepare them physically, and then just having a good faith system.”

Since that tragic day, many memorials and dedications have taken place to honor Bartlett. However, the pain is still present.

Sheriff Rowe explained, “I can never say enough about the strength of character.”

It was his courage, strength, and dedication to serve that made Bartlett leave this earth as a true hero.

“Because of his team and his leadership, there were a lot of lives that were still saved; that day could have gotten a lot worse,” Burns said.

A memorial and park dedication will take place Friday evening at the corner of Sherman Avenue and Elm Street in Levelland. A meet and greet will take place at 8:00 p.m. with the official ceremony beginning at 8:30 p.m.