AUSTIN (KXAN) - It's been 13 months since Austin Police lost an officer in the line of duty.
For people who knew Officer "Jaime Padron" it's been a time of pain and reflection.
This is National Police Week and for APD it will mark another opportunity to honor a popular member of the force who gave his life to protect Austin.
Some 60 APD officers began a journey Sunday to Washington, D.C. for a week-long annual event that honors law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the family members, friends and fellow officers they left behind.
In April, 2012 Officer Jaime Padron was shot to death after confronting an armed man inside a north Austin Wal-Mart. Thousands from the "thin blue line" came from around the country for his funeral service. Many more citizens paid tribute along the procession route from Austin as Padron's body was taken to his native San Angelo for a funeral Mass and burial.
On Monday the name Jaime Padron will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial.
For the law enforcement community the tribute is bittersweet.
"I'm going with all the friends that we all knew together, and also former partners, so we have a good time as far as spending time together," said APD Officer Henry Aguilar, who knew Padron even before they both joined the Austin force.
"But then at the same time every time we hear the bagpipes and candle lights, and name on the wall, it's kind of like being at the funeral again."
This year the names of 320 officers killed in the line of duty are being added to the national memorial. These 320 officers include Padron and 118 other officers who were killed during 2012, plus 201 officers who died in previous years. Their stories had been lost to history until now.
Padron's parents, siblings and daughters will attend the ceremonies.
"To see the daughters there, that are the most heartbreaking, knowing their dad will never come back," Aguilar said.
APD Officer Rahim Kidd remembers Padron as positive and upbeat while serving together for four years.
"He was the type of friend that, whenever you needed advice he was always there, whenever you needed help, he was always there. People like that are hard to find. And he was that guy," Kidd said.
Kidd continued, "The last step on this painful journey as far as far as acknowledging him. You know, it's tough. Being with other people who have been through this, we can help each other get through this."
Veteran cops like Chief Art Acevedo understand the pain.
"Having lost a lot of friends over the last 27 years, it gets better. That's the way we are created. We are made to be able to withstand any tragedy. But this is part of the healing process," said Acevedo.
As Chief Acevedo, Padron's friends and former partners fly off for Washington they carry with them the gratitude of a city.
Sub-freezing temperatures are forecast to continue in many areas through Sunday morning. Combined with an overrunning moisture pattern and upper level disturbance, some light freezing drizzle or sleet may form Saturday into Sunday morning.
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Sub-freezing temperatures and an approaching upper level disturbance could combine to produce some patchy freezing drizzle or sleet Saturday and early Sunday morning.