AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police Department Officer Lewis “Andy” Traylor, who died in the line of duty on July 31 after a crash a few days earlier, was remembered by family, friends and coworkers Monday.
Officer Paul Bianchi started in the police academy alongside Traylor and has worked with him for the past nine years, many of them on the same shift together.
“He gave his hardest. A lot of people in APD knew him, knew the type of officer he was. He also talked about his family a lot, specifically his kids — he loved you guys very much,” Bianchi said.
Police said Traylor was responding to a call when an 18-wheeler made a U-turn in front of his patrol car. He had been with APD for nine years and before that served in the Navy for a decade. He is survived by his wife and five children.
Bianchi said the side most people didn’t see was Traylor’s dedication to his shift and fellow officers, calling him “an incredible mentor and an incredible teacher.”
“Traylor, you were my partner and my friend. Rest easy, buddy — we’ll take it from here,” Officer Paul Bianchi said, trying not to choke up as he refolded his prepared remarks and left the stage.
Lt. Mike Chancellor worked with Traylor and is his cousin. He shared stories of their youth — sneaking coconut cream pie from their grandmother’s kitchen, wrestling in the yard, playing baseball in his teens.
“Everybody who knew Andy knew he did everything at 100%,” he said.
Chancellor worked at APD and took Traylor on a ride-along once he got out of the Navy and started thinking about becoming an officer. He recounted how Traylor had been selected to be part of a “prestigious position” in the organized crime division a little over a year ago, but came to talk through the decision.
“Andy told me that he didn’t think that the hours for the position would work for his family and so he was going to turn down the spot,” Chancellor said. “That’s the kind of person Andy was. He would work for it but he loved his family so much he was going to turn it down and stay on nights so he could stay with his family.”
APD Chaplain Rick Randall and Interim Chief Joseph Chacon also spoke, along with others who knew Traylor.
Earlier Monday morning, a law enforcement funeral procession brought Traylor from Cook-Walden Funeral Home to Shoreline Church on Burnet Road for the memorial. Full law enforcement honors took place after the service in front of the church.
Austin Cops 4 Charities is continuing to accept donations for the family online.
There was a public visitation Sunday.