NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Today's police officer deaths were rapidly shared via social media by Lt. Dan Taravella.
The Nacogdoches Police Department veteran has made many similar posts. Taravella spoke to the East Texas News Wednesday and explained why the "officer down" tragedies are important to know about, no matter where in the nation they happen.
"Today was one Urbandale, Iowa officer and a Des Moines, Iowa officer, neighboring agencies," Taravella said. Those were the two that were killed today."
Taravella knew today's top story would be on the Officer Down Memorial Page website.
"That's the first news source I go to every day," Taravella said. "It applies to me."
Then the day came that the veteran police officer realized the officer down news really applies to everyone.
"But it wasn't until this summer when the Dallas officers were killed that I actually started using the information there on my Facebook page just to bring awareness to it," Taravella said.
When asked what the number is up to now, Taravella replied, "Probably 25 or 30. And some two or three a day."
The number of fallen officers so far this year added up fast.
"There's about 125 to 150 deaths every year of officers in the line of duty," Taravella said. "About half are gun related. About half are auto related."
News of the deaths can come in a moment.
"Here's another one. Just happened. A motorcycle," Taravella said. "His police motorcycle was struck by another vehicle in Miami."
His name is Officer Jorge Sanchez, a servant of the Miami Police Department for 21 years. He is survived by his three children, mother, and fiancée.
"The officers and their families deserve the recognition," Taravella said.
Taravella has his own family. Next week the veteran officer will have 25 years at the Nacogdoches Police Department.
There are officers retiring. Increased violence against officers, in part, has been a significant deciding factor.
Taravella doesn't deny he's had the conversation with family, but his decision is made.
"You can't allow it to be sole decision to start pulling the pin on your retirement," Taravella said.
If ever in doubt, Taravella only needs to walk down to a wall not far from his office. It's a reminder of what might keep his own department's patch off the website that he checks every day.
"We know we have a lot of support in this town, but yeah, you never want to see a patch from your own agency," Taravella said.
You can find the Officer Down Memorial Page at this link.