This week is National Police Week. It was created in 1962 and signed into law by President John F. Kennedy. May 15th was designated as National Peace Officer’s Memorial Day. Each year we lose around 150 peace officers across the United States that are killed in the line of duty. Each and everyone of these heroes were putting their life on the line for the citizens of this country, no matter what their beliefs or affiliations were.
This week is an opportunity for the citizens of Atascosa County to reflect on what our law enforcement officers do each day and the sacrifices they make in keeping law and order in your communities. In Atascosa County alone we have lost nine brave Peace Officers in the line of duty. These officers were husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, and friends of many. They must never be forgotten. They are: Deputy Sheriff Abner Matlock – 1911; Deputy Sheriff Meister Coward – 1952; Constable George Hindes – 1965; Deputy Sheriff Luis Garza – 1973; Deputy Sheriff Aerl Jernigan – 1975; Deputy Sheriff Thomas Monse 1999; Deputy Sheriff Mark Stephenson – 1999; DPS Trooper Terry Miller – 1999; and Zavala Co. Deputy Ken Meister – 1991.
As your county’s chief law enforcement officer, I would like to ask everyone to take a moment this week to remember these brave heroes and their families and if you see an officer around town, thank him or her for their service to the community and to the Great State of Texas.
Have a good and safe week and please contact me if we can be of any assistance to you, no matter the time of day or night.
DAVID SOWARD is the elected Sheriff of Atascosa County. He has been with the sheriff’s office for 42 years and he is in his 7th year as Sheriff. Sheriff Soward holds a Master Jailer’s License as well as a Master Peace Officer’s License from the State of Texas.