AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Peace Officers’ Memorial stands on the Texas Capitol grounds. It honors officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Since its establishment in 1999, more than 2,000 names have been engraved, according to the memorial’s website.
“From what I understand, there’s no more room for that to happen for the 2023 names. It’s sad” Tyler Owen with the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) said. “So moving forward for next year, and moving forward after that, we don’t have any room.”
Owen added that means, at this point, there’s a chance Cameron Police Sgt. Josh Clouse’s name will not make it onto the wall. Sgt. Clouse died in the line of duty last week while responding to a domestic violence call.
“It’s sad” Owen said.
While the memorial is on state grounds, Owen said it’s funded by private donations. He said law enforcement groups already developed a construction plan for an expansion, and that plan is approved, they just need to foot the bill. Anyone interested in helping with the memorial’s funding can click here.
For some, it’s personal
“I have friends on this wall,” said Grahame Jones, a former law enforcement officer and current executive director of the 100 Club, a group that helps provide resources to families of fallen officers.
“The wall is a very special place. It’s where the candlelight vigil is held every year,” he said. “It’s a very powerful moment. It’s poignant, it’s powerful, you can tell that it obviously means a lot to the family.”
He said it can help bring closure to families, and all officers who lose their lives in the line of duty deserved to be memorialized on the wall.
“A lot of times, the family will do a tracing of the name with paper and chalk, and they’ll take that with them,” he said.
For the state’s law enforcement community, denying that family an opportunity isn’t an option.
“I think it’s up to us to fulfill this project, and I think we can get it done,” said Owen.