• Thank you for inviting me to be with you this evening. I am honored to stand with you to honor those brave men and women who put on the uniform, pin on the badge and place themselves in harm’s way each day to protect our community.
  • During my 30 years as a prosecutor and criminal court judge, I had the privilege of working alongside some of America’s heroes who have worn the badge—the shield—or the star over their heart. These are symbols of their willingness to put our safety above theirs.
  • They represent everything that is good; everything that is right in our country.
  • Underneath these uniforms are moms, dads, sisters, brothers, cousins and friends. Protecting us is their job. It is their duty to bring safety to our communities.
  • As Americans, we must let them know that we support them and that we are grateful for all they do for our communities.
  • Unfortunately, we all know too well that protection comes at a price.
  • Tonight, we honor our 2015 Texas Fallen Police Officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
  • Nationwide, we lost 128 officers last year, 117 men and 11 females.
  • In Texas, we lost 12 officers in the line of duty to gunfire, automobile accidents and vehicular assaults, and we lost two K-9s
  • 3 of those 12 fallen officers were from my area – the Houston community-
  • Two were with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office: Deputy Darren Goforth and Officer Tronoski Jones.
  • One served with the Houston Police Department: Officer Richard Martin.
  • We are here tonight so that we remember and honor them.
  • A few minutes ago, we saw Tyler Martin up here, leading our pledge of allegiance.
  • I want the Martin family to know – and all of the families that have lost a loved one in the line of duty – you are not alone, your loved one’s loss will not be forgotten, and we will continue to honor their lives.
  • It’s been almost a year since we lost Houston Police Officer Richard Martin.
  • In the early morning hours of a Monday in May, while most of the city was asleep, the diligent Houston Police Department responded to a robbery call at an Exxon service station.
  • The lawmen approached the scene and saw a suspect speed off in what turned out to be a stolen U-Haul Truck.
  • They pursued the truck, and a high speed chase was on.
  • The outlaw abandoned the truck, carjacked a woman, pushed her out of her minivan, and continued his flight.
  • The outlaw then fired shots at the police and kept fleeing in the darkness of the morning hours.
  • Houston Police Officer Richard Martin, aware of the chase, was situated ahead of it. He jumped out of his patrol car to place spike stripes in the road to try to stop the approaching vehicle.
  • The criminal saw Officer Martin  and intentionally ran him over, killing him.
  • Then the criminal continued on a 20 mile from the law in the City of Houston.
  • He was later cornered by the police in a standoff, and then shot himself.
  • He survived for a few hours while the District Attorney prepared capital murder charges against him but later died, avoiding the hangman.
  • Officer Richard Martin was a Houston Police Officer. He was 47 years of age. He had only been a peace officer for 4 years, and he worked at the Westside Patrol Division.
  • Prior to being a police officer, he had been in the private industry for 20 years.
  • Officer Martin was also a veteran. He spent 4 years Active Duty in the United States Air Force, then 8 more years as a reservist in the United States Air Force.
  • But being a police officer was his ultimate goal, so in his early forties, he became a Houston Police Officer.
  • In just 4 short years, Officer Martin became a field officer. His Captain said he crammed 20 years of policing into the 4 he served with the Houston Police Department. This speaks volumes about his character as a lawman.
  • He was the father of two, a then 22-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son; and he loved being actively involved in his children’s lives, including in his son’s baseball team.
  • Next week we will celebrate National Police Week, honoring the daily sacrifices of peace officers like Officer Martin, Deputy Goforth, and Officer Jones.
  • Our peace officers are a special breed. They work selflessly to maintain and restore order in communities and neighborhoods across America. While we sleep, those that wear the badge are on patrol, protecting us from the evil ones.
  • For these remarkable men and women, their safety is never guaranteed.
  • While the badge and the uniform represent safety for citizens, it is unfortunately a target for the unlawful.
  • We do take comfort in the fact that as long as criminals walk and wander our streets, refusing to follow the law, peace officers will always be there on patrol, officers like the 13 we lost last year in Texas.
  • Tonight we not only mourn for our brothers in sisters in blue whom we lost, we stand together in tribute.
  • We stand united that in our freedom loving state and nation, good will always triumph over evil.
  • That the “good” are those who wear the uniform each day and go out to patrol our communities.
  • Those who wear the badge over their heart do so as a symbol of their willingness to put themselves between us and the lawless
  • To those in uniform here tonight, thank you.
  • Thank you for representing everything that is good and right about our society.
  • Know that despite the rhetoric that has taken over our communities and TVs at times, you do noble and just work.
  • You are the everyday unsung heroes.