LUBBOCK, Texas — On Friday, December 19, Austin Harvey graduated from Sam Houston State University with his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He said he would like to pursue a career in law enforcement, just like his father.
“It hasn’t hit me yet fully, but it was a great experience,” Harvey said.
While walking across the stage, Harvey had a coin in his pocket.
“It had my dad’s badge on it, his number, and then the day he was killed in the line of duty. Then on the back, it was just the sheriff’s office — their shield,” Harvey said.
The Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office gave Austin the coin following the death of his father, Cpl. D. Robert Harvey. He died more than ten years ago in a fiery crash, while he was on his way to a call.
“It meant a lot because you know that a lot of the people he used to work with — they’re different divisions, different departments — and it was nice to see that they still wanted to remember him,” Harvey said.
Harvey said he chose to pursue law enforcement due in part to his father.
“After he passed away, it was something I wanted to do, so I started taking more classes about it, and it turned into something I really wanted to do,” Harvey said.
He said he chose to carry the coin to honor his father.
“He cared a lot about the community, he’d always volunteer and like I said he used to he got involved with my baseball. He was my coach. He really enjoyed hanging out with me my brother, my mother. He really loved his job and you could see it,” Harvey said. “He’s not here, but he’s still here in a way.”