Police agencies across North Texas showed their support for the Dallas Police Department and law enforcement agencies everywhere Friday morning on the one-year anniversary of the ambush in Downtown Dallas.
On July 7, 2016, a gunman shot and killed four Dallas Police Department officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer as they were controlling the crowd during a peaceful rally.
Dallas police officers, Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, 48, Officer Michael Krol, 40, Sgt. Michael J. Smith, 55, and Officer Patrick Zamarripa, 32, and DART Police Officer Brent Thompson, 43, were all killed.
In Coppell, a small group gathered in front of the Coppell Police Headquarters, where Police Chief Mac Tristan talked briefly about police support. That was followed by a vocal performance by the Spangler family from Coppell.
Per Gov. Greg Abbott’s request, Coppell and other police departments turned their blue and red vehicle lights on at 10 a.m. for one minute Friday to support law enforcement across the state.
Members of police departments across the area have spent the last several days reflecting on the events a year ago.
Tristan said he has mixed emotions about Friday.
“It’s important, but I hate to relive it,” Tristan said. “You watch the media reports and the videos and it takes you back to that moment in time. There’s an overwhelming emotion of sadness. It is important to remember and support their families, but it’s kind of like 9/11 in that I don’t like to watch it.”
Tristan said what helps is events like Friday’s when the community comes out to show support.
“You see families and children, so it does lift our spirits,” Tristan said.
Jeff Spangler, who attended with his family, said it was important to show their support.
“It’s important that we stick together as a community,” Spangler said. “We know what they do isn’t easy. It’s a shame that there’s a backlash against officers, so we want to do everything we can to let them know that’s not how the majority feels.”
Just as the events from a year ago brought forth a stronger support of local police officers, Tristan said the incident also brought out change in our police approach situations.
Tristan said more attention is given to events that could cause problems.
“We’re more aware of the protests and the large gatherings,” Tristan said. “And we’re more aware of what’s going on in America. Even our Fourth of July event, we prepare based on what’s going on around the world. All of that goes into the possibility of an event that could happen here.”
Tristan said one example was the recent police-involved shooting in Balch Springs.
“What happens in other (places) can affect us here,” Tristan said.