ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The wife of a Round police officer killed in the line of duty last year has found a new way to keep his legacy of service going.
Connie Whites announced the creation of the Victim Services and Community Services Fund in memory of her husband, Officer Charles Whites. The fund provides financial assistance to victim services programs at the Round Rock Police Department and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office to assist crime victims and others in need of immediate help.
“I’m hoping that I set a precedent for some other people, that they follow suit,” Connie said, “and that we provide more help and assistance immediately to those victims who need help.”
Officer Whites died on April 27, 2018, more than two months after a car struck him while he was directing traffic at a fatal wreck on I-35. He was the first Round Rock officer to die on duty.
Connie started the fund with $150,000 in donations she received after the wreck that ultimately killed her husband.
“I feel very blessed and fortunate,” she said, “and I like giving it back.”
She said law enforcement will be able to use the money to meet people’s various needs, like providing gift cards for groceries or car seats for parents struggling to afford them.
She pointed out that the victim services coordinator at the Round Rock Police Department did not previously have a budget to do these sorts of things.
“It will create a budget, and it will be a self-sustaining fund, so we will never spend a certain amount,” Connie explained. “They will always be collecting interest, and that interest will provide a budget for them.”
She said her husband would often give money out of his own pocket to people he met who needed some help.
“I can remember one time him coming home and saying, ‘I hope you’re not mad at me. I used the credit card. There was a lady and her two kids, and they didn’t have any money. Her car broke down, and I put her up in the hotel for a night,'” Connie said. “I said, ‘Of course, I’m not mad at you.'”
Sheriff Robert Chody shared his gratitude Friday for the fund that will partially benefit his agency.
“We are very thankful and appreciative for the Whites family for even considering donating in the interest of Williamson County crime victims,” Sheriff Chody told KXAN.
The Victim Services and Community Assistance Fund is administered by the Greater Round Rock Community Foundation. People can donate to the fund on the nonprofit’s website.