With the recent rise in the killing of law enforcement officers across the country, members of Waxahachie’s police department stopped what they were doing at 11 a.m. Friday in the 500 block of U.S. 77 to honor Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth.
Goforth was gunned down Aug. 28 while he put gas in into his patrol car. On Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide call to stand with law enforcement and honor Goforth as well as all officers across the state. Abbott asked Texas law enforcement officers to turn on their red and blue flashing lights for a minute at 11 a.m. which corresponded with funeral services for Goforth in Harris County.
Waxahachie police Sgt. Rob Best spoke about what drew the officers to honor a fallen fellow officer.
“This was an impromptu memorial for the Houston deputy that was slain in cold blood with no provocation whatsoever,” said Best. “Not only a gesture for him, but something the Waxahachie police department is doing to show support to all law enforcement agencies across the United States right now. With the tragic events resulting in eight officers killed in nine days, it’s time for America to wake up and get a grip on reality and support their law enforcement, and this is our show of support back to the community, and for the families of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.”
Waxahachie Lt. Billie Wallace said the recent rash of violence has had a ripple effect, even in Waxahachie police force.
“We’re covering the killings and violence in daily briefings to watch our own backs and to watch each others backs, and take that extra step of precaution,” said Wallace. “We don’t feel as safe as we used to, but we’re going to continue to stand together and do what we’ve vowed to do, and that’s not going to change.”
Best said that the uptick in violence won’t stop their sworn responsibility to protect the residents of Waxahachie.
“In our patrol meetings, we’re brainstorming on ideas that will help us stay safe on the streets. Some of these scenarios are almost impossible to predict and protect yourself from. The last trooper was killed in Louisiana by walking up and checking on a vehicle stuck in a ditch. The one before that was killed pumping gas. So how do you protect yourself against that? You really can’t. So we remain hyper-vigilant and have your head on a 360 degree swivel all the time,” said Best. “We’re sworn to do a job, and there’s a certain amount of risk associated with it. You don’t get into this job for the pay. You get into it for the service to your community, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to stand tall.”
As the officers stood in silence, people pulled off of U.S. 77 to come over and express their gratitude, shake the officers' hands and share thanks for a job well done.