A transforming tragedy E-mail

I wanted to write after reading Craig Floyd’s article highlighting some of the officers who were killed in the line of duty in 1999. I was the dispatcher the night that Jeremiah Engleton, armed with an assault weapon, brutally killed two deputies from the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office and a Texas State Trooper who arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.

I don't talk to many people about that night. I can't even begin to tell you how painful it is to me. As the 911 dispatcher on duty, I had to send those officers out there. I had known Mark Stephenson for eight years, Tom Monse all my life and Terry Miller for the past two years. They were all like brothers to me. We all worked dog watch and sometimes those 12 hour shifts seemed awful long but we all had a lot of laughs together and a lot of tears, anger and lots of moments when were totally disgusted with the human race.

After these fine officers were so senselessly killed, I lost hope for a while and wondered what the hell was wrong with the law enforcement family that we actually believed we could and writing and they shared stories with me about how they or family members or friends live’s were much better and safer today because of these brave men. I now realize this is where I belong and this is where I want tobe. The bond now between all of us at the Atascosa Sheriff’s Office. is so much stronger than I ever imagined it could be. There were hundreds of officers out there that night and they are all heroes. This ordeal has changed my life completely. I know now that I will never be the same again but I pray that each time I send one of my officers to a call that the Lord is there to back them up and send them home in one piece. God bless all of the unappreciated and unknown heroes in the world of the law enforcement family.

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