ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — After the death of Hutto Police Sgt. Chris Kelley, police officers are mourning. Kelley is now one of the 63 officers the Officer Down Memorial Page lists as killed in the line of duty this year.
“[An] officer from the time he leaves house and he goes out on patrol, the first thing on his mind is returning back to his family,” said Round Rock Police Cmdr. Robert Rosenbusch.
However, what starts as a basic traffic stop can turn into something much more dangerous. A document from the Round Rock Police Department outlines a 643-hour basic peace officer course, which includes 68 hours of “traffic” training.
“Every situation is different, so there really is no routine [traffic stop],” said Rosenbusch.
In 2010, a man slashed the throat of Austin Police Officer Frank Wilson. Wilson survived, but other officers have died during traffic stops. A suspect shot and killed DPS Trooper Randy Vetter in 2000 near Yarrington Road in Hays County. Vetter had pulled the man over for not wearing his seat belt.
“As you’re walking up [to a traffic stop], you’re looking for anything that’s happening in the vehicle: Are they fighting? Does everything seem like it’s OK? Are they making real quick movements,” said Rosenbusch.
Meanwhile, the Hutto Police Department is remembering one of its own — a life lost during a traffic stop. The funeral for Kelley is set for Tuesday at 11 a.m.