BPD may accept Mansfield's dance challenge
Chief Billy Cordell may be willing to break out his dancing shoes.
He and the Burleson Police Department were challenged via Facebook Monday by Mansfield Police Chief Tracy Aaron to participate in the Running Man Challenge in honor of National Police Week.
"That Tracy Aaron, now he's a character," Cordell said, committing at least to investigate accepting the viral Internet dance challenge. "There's a particular dance we'll have to do. I think we'll try to put something together."
He's keeping detail of that plan under wraps for now.
National Police Week is annually observed in the week May 15 falls, the day declared in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy as National Peace Officers' Memorial Day.
The observance honors those law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, including 123 in 2015.
Twelve Texas law enforcement officers' watch ended in 2015, and this week 10 other Texas officers who previously died in the line of duty, but who had not been honored, will be added to the national memorial.
Janice Vanderveer is the only Burleson police officer to be killed in the line of duty. She was struck by a vehicle while setting flares at an accident scene and died Dec. 27, 1987.
"She left behind two young children: Amy, 7, and Adam, 18 months," Cordell said. "They are now both grown and Adam is an Irving police officer."
Burleson has not been without other tragedy. Clifton Taylor of Burleson was struck by gunfire and killed April 23, 2011, when he responded to a domestic call for the Johnson County Sheriff's Office. On April 13, 2007, Andrew Esparza, a 1999 Burleson High School graduate, was killed in an accident when his Irving patrol car hydroplaned into a power pole. Mike Carpenter of Burleson's watch ended Feb. 13, 1979, when two suspects he apprehended overpowered him in his Crowley police squad car and he was shot. The Crowley police station is named in Carpenter's honor.
The sacrifice and the legacy left behind by fallen law enforcement officers should never be forgotten, Sheriff Bob Alford wrote Monday in a Wise Eyes release.
"You never know what you may come across and how your shift may end," Cordell said. "We have a lot of people who support us, and we appreciate that. I think the past few years nationally shows us there are still those who are distrustful of police and how vulnerable we are."
There have been 35 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2016, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, including 17 by gunfire. The next leading cause is an automobile accident.
"That's the reason we reinforced this week to our officers the importance of using their training, following policy and being careful," Cordell said. "It can get real dangerous being a police officer."