AUSTIN (KXAN) — A day of remembrance and saying goodbye takes place across Texas Friday. In San Antonio, Officer Miguel Moreno will be laid to rest. He was shot and killed during a traffic stop last week. His partner was also shot while getting out of the patrol car but survived. The Austin Police Department plans to send its Honor Guard along with several officers to the funeral. Governor Greg Abbott will also attend.
In Dallas, Friday marks one year since five officers were killed by a shooter during a peaceful protest through downtown. Governor Abbott is asking all Texas law enforcement to turn on their red and blue lights for one minute at 10 a.m. A monument honoring the lives of the officers will be dedicated at the Dallas Market Center. Thursday night, families of the Dallas officers who lost their lives accepted the Police Cross Award given to those who die in the line of duty. In Austin, law enforcement patrol cars will line the North Drive of the State Capitol as a show of unity, turning on their red and blue lights.
Changes at home
Since the shootings in Dallas the Austin Police Department has made a big change with their patrol officers. More than 900 officers now have heavier, ballistic vests in the event of an active shooter situation. This is something the spouses of officers requested the Austin Police Association push for. The reason, the bullet proof vests officers currently wear can only stop certain bullets. Officers keep these new vests in the trunk of their car in case they need them. APD felt the department needed the vests because police are being shot by people using high powered weapons like AR-15’s.
“They have a heavy vest in case there is an active shooter with a high powered rifle they can throw that on and it gives them a double layer of protection,” says Ken Casaday, APA President. “I know the officers were very thankful for that and believe it or not their spouses were too.”
The new gear weighs about 20 pounds – that’s why it’s stored in the trunk until its needed during an active shooter situation. It cost the department $321,000 and that money came from the general fund that budgets dollars for new equipment.