Representatives of law enforcement agencies from 20 East Texas counties gathered in Kilgore Sunday to declare their support for the East Texas 100 Club and to encourage citizens to donate to the foundation.
By raising money from community members, business owners and civic leaders, the club aims to support the spouses and dependents of officers killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty.
Mt. Pleasant Chief of Police Wayne Isbell addressed the media and the community at the press conference, pointing out a need among East Texas law enforcement agencies for more support and financial assistance.
“Law enforcement in East Texas has fought hard to improve how we police. Unfortunately, we don't always get the support we need from our community and our governing body,” Isbell said, citing statistics indicating 148 more law enforcement officers died in the U.S. in 2018 than in 2017, reversing a one-year decline.
“Texas was one of four states leading the number of officer's deaths, with 11 fallen officers,” Isbell said.
Isbell added the 100 Club was created in 2017 by a group of civic and business leaders. He called on the community to show their support for local law enforcement by paying an annual or lifetime membership fee. Those who do will be recognized on the club's website and will receive a window sticker denoting their membership status.