Law enforcement stands together

Published 1:43 pm Monday, July 10, 2017

Red and blue police lights flashed from more than 20 Port Arthur Police patrol cars lined up in front of the police station as flags were flown at half-mast creating a somber mood Friday morning.

PAPD joined officers across the State of Texas who, at 10 a.m., turned on the lights on their patrol cars for one minute commemorating the one-year anniversary of the deadly ambush and killing of five officers, four with the Dallas Police Department and one a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer.

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The call to stand with law enforcement came from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

“It is our officers who stand between us and all that threatens, and we must stand behind them by sending a clear message that attacks on our men and women in blue will not be tolerated. I ask that all Texans come together to show our appreciation for those who keep us safe,” Gov. Abbott said in a press release.

Port Arthur Police Chief Patrick Melvin said the gesture is a way to show respect to first responders and those who lost their lives in the line of duty.

“Regardless of where you are in the country, regardless of which department you protect and serve for, when you lose a fellow colleague in the line of duty, it always affects you personally,” Melvin said. “This is not just a job, it’s a calling, I call it my ministry.  When you lose a colleague, it reminds you how important family is, friends are and your fellow peace officers.  When the community, fellow workers throughout the city, city management and council come out to support us on days like today, it makes it that much easier to come to work the next day knowing that it could be our last.”

One of the Dallas victims was Sgt. Michael Smith, a Port Arthur native and graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School. Smith was a veteran officer with 27 years of service during which time he received 85 commendations and awards.

Other officers killed that day include Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, Officer Michael Krol, Officer Patrick Zamarripa and Officer Brent Thompson.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued a statement in honor of all Texas law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

“July 7 marks the solemn anniversary of the tragic loss of five law enforcement officers in Dallas,” Patrick said. “That was a dark day for Texas and for all America. Going forward, Texas has set aside July 7 to honor those law enforcement officers and every first responder who has laid down their life to protect their community. Today, we join with their families in prayer and remembrance. We honor their service and the ultimate sacrifice they made. We will never forget.”

Locally, there have been a number of officers killed in the line of duty.

From the Port Arthur Police Department:

  • Det. Milton Thomas Levy II suffered a fatal heart attack while arresting a man for assault on Nov. 14, 1992.
  • Officer Lewis Steve Hall was shot and killed while executing a search warrant on Aug. 6, 1975.
  • Officer Paul Aaron Emerson Sr. was shot to death when he and his partner surprised a burglar at a local business on Aug. 3, 1967.
  • Officer A.R. Bradley was shot and killed while attempting to question a suspect in a disturbance call on Dec. 13, 1036.
  • Det. Ben A. Harris was shot and killed after being targeted because of his law enforcement work. He was shot several times in the chest during a drive-by shooting.
  • Special Officer Richard D. “Dick” Hamilton was shot to death on Dec. 11, 1920. Hamilton worked as a foreman at Gulf Refinery and was appointed as a special police office. He was shot when he went to arrest a person for burglary.
  • Deputy City Marshal Ed Smith died on Sept. 24, 1902 from a gunshot wound after responding to a disturbance call.

From the Beaumont Police Department:

  • Officer Bryan Mitchell Hebert died after a suspect intentionally struck him with a vehicle on July 8, 2011.
  • Officer Lisa Renee Ligda-Beaulieu was struck and killed by a drunk driver while investigating an earlier accident on April 27, 2007.
  • Sgt. James Michael “Mike” Lane was killed Sept. 16, 2004 when the department helicopter he was riding in crashed into Sabine Lake.
  • Officer Conrad Sudario Gernale was intentionally struck and killed Sept. 6, 2002 by a vehicle driven by a suspect fleeing a domestic assault.
  • Officer Paul Douglas Hulsey Jr. was shot to death March 22, 1988 while investigating a vehicle with stolen plates. He had no idea the suspect was the multi-state serial killer Michael Lee Lockhart.
  • Officer Danny Dean Richmond, March 12, 1980, motorcycle crash.
  • Officer Patrick Bruce Hunt, Sept. 8, 1977, motorcycle crash.
  • Officer Jack L. Pickering Jr. and Officer Ronny Garcia, May 19, 1970, exposure to toxins.
  • Motorcycle Officer Henry Norman Williams, April 26, 1950, vehicular assault.
  • Officer Revis J. Landry, Dec.4, 1945, struck by a train.
  • Motorcycle Officer Gordon Udell Warrick, April 15, 1944, vehicular assault
  • Officer James A. Davis Dec. 6, 1925, struck by vehicle.
  • Officer Clarence Brammer, Sept. 19, 1923, accidental gunfire.
  • Officer Byron Merritt, Dec. 17, 1905, gunfire.
  • Officer Walter W. Stansbury, July 23, 1903.
  • Deputy City Marshal William E. Patterson, Sept. 25, 1881, gunfire.

From the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department:

  • Game Warden Michael Charles Pauling, Aug. 2, 2001, vehicular assault.

SOURCE: Officer Down Memorial Page