LUBBOCK, Texas — As the sun shined down on South Plains College on Wednesday, many people gathered for the chance to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“It’s heartbreaking to hear so many officers have lost their lives this year,” said Cory Foley, South Plains police officer.
Fellow officers, students, friends and members of the community held a moment of silence for those who should not be forgotten.
“It was very important to be able to read those names and have all those officers recognized,” said Kenny Burns, law enforcement technology coordinator.
Wednesday was for those who died on the line of duty and those still waiting to be honored.
“Especially in our area that didn’t get that line of duty recognition that still needs to be honored for dying in the line of duty, especially from COVID-19 exposure,” said Burns.
Seventy-four fallen officers were commemorated for their service. But for some, as Leslie Lehmann said, there are so many more officers with untold stories.
“There were even more correctional line of duty deaths. There are officers who died in the last year, but they weren’t considered line of duties deaths,” said Investigator Leslie Lehmann with the South Plains Police Department.
The pandemic impacted and disrupted so many lives, including those serving their communities. Officials also said the number of names recognized at the ceremony was over tripled from previous years.