Police officer deaths increase, cities gather to honor fallen

POSTED: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 4:23pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO -- Texas once again leads the states in the number of police officers killed in the line of duty. Wednesday, local police gathered with families of those slain officers to honor them.

A 21 gun salute was heard for 19 police officers killed in 2010. That's a 37 percent increase from 2009.

Marsha Cottle knows all to well what it's like to be part of that statistic.

"Our four children and me, it just turned our lives upside down."

Her husband was working undercover when he was killed.

"When he would have to go on a drug raid or a significant, undercover. He was working undercover in Dallas on counterfeit documents, and I was very afraid," said Cottle.

Waco Police Sgt. J.R. Price says remembering these officers stirs up a lot of emotions.

"The various emotions you feel, sadness, empathy for the families and officers that were killed, you want justice just as any other citizen would want justice for anyone else in their family," said Sgt. Price.

Justice for families like Karen Smithhart whose brother was murdered.

"It's hard time to lose anyone you love when they are doing this just to support their community," said Smithhart.

Now officers are working to decrease the numbers  in a world where Sgt. Price says criminals are finding new ways to fight back.

"Tactics are being used that we've never experienced towards us before. Then we have to adjust our tactics to try to save, not only our lives, but save the lives of the people in the community also."


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