LITTLE ELM, Texas (CBS11) – It was one year ago on Wednesday the Little Elm Police Department lost its first officer in the line of duty.
Detective Jerry Walker was shot and killed during a standoff after responding to a disturbance involving a local man.
One year later, the pain among those who knew Walker is still very much apparent.
“We’re back to normal, but it’s a new normal,” said Chief Rodney Harrison with Little Elm P.D.
For the last year, officers and Walker’s family have lived with a hole in their hearts.
“It’s almost like still, seems like a bad dream to me. At any point and time I’m going to wake up from this and Jerry’s going to be back,” said Lt. Brad Wilcox with Little Elm P.D.
Wilcox spent nearly two decades working with Walker.
“When you get in this business, everybody says it could happen to you at any time. Maybe you believe that, maybe you don’t,” said Wilcox. “But, I believe it now.”
Much of Walker’s family was in attendance for a service that honored him on Wednesday.
“It’s hard to believe a year’s gone by,” said John Gideon, Walker’s cousin. “It’s hard to believe you don’t just pick up the phone and call him.”
Gideon remembers their childhood adventures in Florida and a man who lived with one mission.
“He lived a life a service,” said Gideon. “Whether it’s through the military or through law enforcement, I think he would hope that his death doesn’t detract from that but it inspires others.”
While it doesn’t look like much now, the empty lot across from the police and fire building will soon be the spot Little Elm pays tribute to Detective Walker and honors other brave men and women.
The town revealed on Wednesday the “First Responders Memorial.”
“We always wondered what would be right to be there,” said Mayor David Hillock. “I think fate was telling us to hold on because we were going to need that spot.”
More than any honor or memorial, people like Wilcox hope Walker is remember for more than his uniform and badge.
“I want them to remember Jerry,” said Wilcox. “Jerry was my friend. Jerry was a father. Jerry was a son.”