EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — During National Police Week this week, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is honoring fallen officers with a memorial ceremony from the EPCSO headquarters’ memorial wall.
One of the officers remembered Wednesday is Sheriff’s Deputy Pat Slape, who died in the line of duty in 1968. He was killed when his patrol car was struck by a train at a guarded crossing while out on patrol in Fabens. Brenda Watson was just one of the many family members in attendance at the memorial ceremony Wednesday morning.
“The price that not just he paid, but the family paid for,” said Walton, daughter of Pat Slape. Walton was 8 years old at the time. “It’s very heart-wrenching, at times like these tearful. Growing up without a dad is so that community could be safe.”
Sheriff Richard Wiles said it’s important to remember their sacrifice and what they do to protect the community especially during a time when relations between police and the public is rocky.
“There are a lot of issues that are impacting law enforcement. One is there are a lot more assaults against law enforcement and deaths,” said Wiles.
“It’s always heart-wrenching when I hear of another officer being killed, because I always think about their children and the hardship they will go through not having their parent,” said Walton. “I appreciate the officers and just pray that we won’t lose anymore.”