NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Law enforcement across the state stood in unity at the moment Harris County Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth's funeral began in Houston.
A solemn event was held at the Nacogdoches Expo Center. It had deep significance for area law enforcement officers.
A simple ceremony spoke volumes. Clearly, law enforcement is a brotherhood.
"All officers. Att-hut," one of the officers said.
There were no public speeches, but rather a ceremonial observance, a kind the nation is having way too often.
Officers, first responders, even a wrecker service were there out of respect, but they would have preferred never knowing the brother they honor under such violent circumstances.
"We're very emotionally upset about it," said Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason It was a senseless killing. Deputy Goforth was assassinated."
So prayers for protection are expressed.
"We ask you be with our partners," one officer prayed. "We ask you be with our families."
Law enforcement agencies are on high alert. More bulletins and more updates than usual are coming in each day. Protectors are looking out for one another in a big way and for good reason.
"The message that's going out there about some of these demonstrators to kill police officers, fry pigs in a blanket, you know, that is a very volatile and hostile message," Bridges said. "Just in the last two days we've had two people that we are on very high alert of. One of those persons is in custody, but another subject, there's no warrants on him, but he has made some statements. And both of these people have mental health issues, so that's what we're worried about."
Can such messages be diminished? Perhaps, by a public outpour of support.
"And that's a partnership with the community and the police," Bridges said. "That's the only way it works."
Bridges is concerned more violence against law enforcement could lower the recruitment of good officers. His concern is departments will become reactive instead of proactive. The result could be that the current steady decline in the crime rate could take a turn for the worse.