TYLER, Texas — Law enforcement and community members will gather around the square in Tyler to commemorate the lives of law enforcement that passed away in the line of duty Wednesday afternoon.
"The event is a celebration of the National Law Enforcement Memorial Service," said Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith. "It's where we get together as a law enforcement community honor the sacrifice of those who have gone before us and have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty."
Sheriff Smith said the names on the Smith County Peace Officers Memorial on the square are of the men and women who had one mission -- to protect the citizens. Among those being recognized is Deputy Lorenzo Bustos, who died in the line of duty in July 2022.
"Everybody has learned to love him and saw he had a great future here at the Smith County Sheriff’s Office," Smith said.
This will be this will be the first ceremony remembering fallen law enforcement since his passing. Gloria, Bustos’ wife, will be in attendance.
"She’ll be walked and escorted by a deputy to pick up a rose and put the rose right next to the memorial," Smith said.
Deputy Bustos' ambition and dedication for his work was cut short last July when a suspected drunk driver struck and killed him on his last night of training. His wife said he was a loving father during his funeral last year.
"Most importantly he was a good husband he was my best friend, my everything. We love you so much and don't worry I got it from here," Gloria said.
Smith added co-workers and friends are still having a hard time coping.
"It’s been hard dealing with all of that from especially the ones that were close to who him and worked with him," Smith said.
"For those who worked with Lorenzo Bustos and many others who have died while serving their community," Smith said. "We appreciate their sacrifice."
The 2023 Peace Officers Memorial will take place Wednesday at noon on the downtown square in Tyler. The public is welcome to attend.