WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— To begin National Police Week, the Wichita Falls Police Department holds an annual ceremony dedicated to the seven fallen officers in the line of duty in their 126-year history.
Each year, the flag is presented and raised, the names are read and the bell is rung, and the booms sounded during the 21 gun salute.
“We just want to let them their family know how grateful we are to them in person, so to be able to do another ceremony in person is very fulfilling,” WFPD Chief Manuel Borrego said.
The WFPD’s annual memorial ceremony honors those seven who lost their lives in the line of duty between 1927 and 1989.
Officers Hugh Fuller, Charles Carlisle, Russell Scott, Robert Fellows, Walter Rappolee Jr, special officer Robert Fennell, and Lt. Walter Collins.
“Just knowing that you’ve got that many people around that still care, makes it pretty special,” Kiddy Boswell, whose husband died in the line of duty in 1968, said.
A return to in-person helps reinforce to families, like Boswell and her son Clayton Fellows, who lost Officer Fellows August 22, 1968, that their lost loved ones won’t be forgotten.
“When you lose one like we lost Clayton’s father and my husband, it’s something that never goes away and so it just makes it nice that there are people that remember,” Boswell said.
Chief Manuel Borrego only worked with one of these officers, Lt. Collins, but said through the years he feels like he’s gotten to know all seven.
“Great man, great commander, great police officers I’m sure all the other ones were also,” Borrego said. “But I just feel like I know them cause I’ve read so much about them and met their family and so we just feel it’s very important we never forget.”
And at least for the family of Officer Fellows, it feels like just that: their loved ones are remembered and they can get through anything, together.
“We have each other,” Boswell said.
It gives those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the WFPD, the public recognition they deserve.
Chief Borrego said this is the perfect way to start a week dedicated to celebrating law enforcement and all their contributions to the community.
To watch the memorial, head over to our Facebook page.