Fallen San Marcos police officer remembered as beloved role model

Law enforcement officers from around the state support eachother outside Officer Copeland's funeral. (KXAN photo)
Law enforcement officers from around the state support eachother outside Officer Copeland's funeral. (KXAN photo)

SAN ANTONIO (KXAN) — Hundreds of law enforcement officers, friends and family members gathered in San Antonio Wednesday morning to say goodbye to Officer Ken Copeland, the first officer killed in the line of duty in San Marcos.

“It’s times like this that the silent majority isn’t so silent and they show us the love and support that they have for us,” said San Marcos Police Chief Chase Stapp.

A message said repeatedly about Officer Ken Copeland was that it’s not about how he died but how he lived. Copeland loved kids, he was a father to four boys and helped lead a Boy Scout troop in San Marcos. His superiors say all the young officers looked up to him.

“I’m thankful for that because he taught them how to treat people. It’s going to be hard to replace, if even possible,” said Stapp.

Support for the officer came from all around the state and the country,  many showing love for a stranger, others grieving for a friend.

“He was just a good soul, a good person,” said San Marcos Assistant Fire Chief Karl Kuhlman.

“Ken was a friend to everybody in town. That’s what really hurts, is that everybody lost a good friend in Ken,” said Copeland’s friend Earl Studdard.

Those who spoke at his funeral say it’s not his commanding presence as an officer that people will remember the most. Instead, it’s his softer side, the side everyone seemed to love.

“He’s infectious — his smile is infectious,” said Kuhlman.

“He always had a smile on his face. Ken’s one of those guys that if he pulled you over, you thanked him for giving you a ticket. You know, he was that kind of guy, very friendly very respectful,” said Studdard.

After the funeral, friends and family were invited outside where helicopters did a flyover and the San Marcos Police Department did a final call and retired his badge.

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