LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - May 15th of each year is designated by federal law as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the calendar week each year in which that day falls is thereby designated as Police Week.
The Lubbock Police Department held a ceremony Monday afternoon to honor those peace officers who have died in the line of duty. The event will be led by the LPD Honor Guard, and City Attorney Sam Medina will be featured as a guest speaker.
Chief Dale Holton describes the ceremony as bittersweet and a time to remember the fallen officers, "I hope it does remind community that officers are out there 24 hours a day, seven days a week working to protect them and standing between them and those who would want to harm them,"
A total of 116 federal, state and local law enforcement officers were killed in the line of during 2009, 20 of which were Texas Peace Officers. The Lubbock Police Department has lost six officers to line-of-duty deaths in its history. Each is briefly memorialized below.
D.O.B. May 1st. 1890...D.O.D. July 19th. 1947
Officer Herrera had worked as a Special Officer for the City of Lubbock for 5 years, in the predominately Hispanic part of Lubbock. Officer Herrera was killed on the night of July 19th 1947. While talking with a subject he had arrested earlier that night, another subject, Robert Bustillos ( a bootlegger ) slipped up behind him and took his pistol away from him. A scuffle ensued and Bustillos shot Officer Herrera four times, Bustillos then stabbed Officer Herrera three times, once through the heart. Officer Herrera died on arrival at Lubbock Memorial Hospital. Officer Herrera managed to take the gun away from Bustillos after being shot, but he was too weak to return fire by that time. This occurred on the street in front of Officer Herrera's home. Bustillos was arrested later that night and charged in the murder of Officer Herrera.
Officer Herrera had rendered a valuable service to the Department in several investigations involving residents of Lubbock. He also served as an interpreter for the Department.
Ralph Clayton White
D.O.B. October 11th. 1927...D.O.D. September 1st. 1953
Detective White had been employed as an officer for the City of Lubbock for four years and had recently been assigned to the Detective Division at the time of his death. Detective White was killed on the morning of Sept. 1st. 1953 when he and his partner, George Hall, noticed a suspicious vehicle stopped in the driveway of a service station. When the officers stopped to investigate, the vehicle started to leave. The officers stopped the car and when they were walking up to the car, they noticed a subject attempting to hide behind a counter inside the service station. Detective White went to the rear of the station to prevent the burglar from escaping. Detective White's partner had stayed with the other suspect and said that he heard one or two shots fired and when he looked up, he saw Detective White running towards the front of the station after the burglar and then saw Detective White fall down. Detective White had been shot by the burglar he had been chasing. Detective White managed to return fire and hit the suspect once in the leg. Detective White had been shot once in the chest.
Detective White was transported to Lubbock Memorial Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival. A suspect, Ivory Gibson was arrested about two hours later when he showed up at a local hospital seeking treatment of the gunshot wound inflicted by Detective White's return fire. Ivory Gibson was charged with the murder of Detective White.
Larry Jack Stevens
D.O.B. October 21st. 1941...D.O.D. February 9th. 1973
Detective Stevens had been employed as an officer for the City of Lubbock for eight years, four of those years as a detective. Detective Stevens was on duty at the time of his death. Detective Stevens was killed in the afternoon of February 9th, 1973. Detective Stevens had gone to a local motel to attempt to question a suspect believed to be a parole violator. Detective Stevens, according to witnesses, had stopped James Emanus outside the motel on the sidewalk and had identified himself as a police officer to Emanus. The suspect pushed Detective Stevens away and pulled out a gun and shot at Detective Stevens four times while running away. Detective Stevens managed to return fire and struck Emanus twice. Emanus shot Detective Stevens once in the chest.
Detective Stevens was transported to West Texas Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival. James Emanus was charged with the murder of Detective Stevens.
Kenneth D. (K.D.) Fowler
D.O.B. December 11th. 1931...D.O.D. June 18th. 1992
Sgt. K.D. Fowler had been employed as an officer for the City of Lubbock for thirty-six years at the time of his death. Sgt. Fowler was killed on the morning of June 18th, 1992 in an ambush while investigating the fatal shooting of a mental health worker outside a local apartment complex. Sgt. Fowler was kneeling over the body of the mental health worker, James E. Haliburton Jr., when the suspect, James Kevin Voyles, a mental patient, opened the door of his apartment and shot several times at Sgt. Fowler. Sgt. Fowler was hit several times, once in the head and several times in the upper part of his body. SWAT was activated to help retrieve Sgt. Fowler and captured the suspect several hours after the shooting. The suspect was charged in the fatal shootings of both James E. Haliburton Jr. and Sgt. Kenneth D. Fowler.
Sgt. Fowler was transported to University Medical Center and was pronounced dead on arrival.
D.O.B. July 26th. 1967 D.O.D. July 8th 2001
Officer Rodney Kendricks had been employed as an officer for the City of Lubbock for 12 years. At the time of his death Officer Kendricks was assigned to the Motorcycle Unit. Officer Kendricks was injured in a traffic accident on July 2, 2001 while escorting a funeral procession. Officer Kendricks passed away on July 8, 2001 from injuries he suffered in the traffic accident.
Officer Kendricks was a certified motorcycle instructor and had received several letters of commendation.
D.O.B. June 30th. 1963 D.O.D. July 13th 2001
Sgt. Kevin Cox had been employed as an officer for the City of Lubbock for 16 years at the time of his death. Sgt. Cox was assigned to the Patrol Division and he was a member of the Police Department SWAT Team. On July 13, 2001 Sgt. Cox was accidentally shot during a SWAT operation at a south Lubbock residence. Sgt. Cox was transported to University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Sergeant Cox had been assigned to the Lubbock Police Department Training Academy from July 27, 1996 to January 9, 2001 as the training supervisor. While at the academy Sergeant Cox was instrumental in designing and building an advanced obstacle course. This obstacle course is used by Officers of the Lubbock Police Department and other Police Agencies as well as the Lubbock Police Department SWAT Team. The obstacle course was also used during the 2001 Police Games.
The obstacle course has been posthumously named the "Kevin Cox Memorial Obstacle Course" in his memory.
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