Cops-4-Cops dedicates car at Cass County Justice Center
Back the Blue. The Thin Blue Line. They are just catchphrases to some, but for Cops 4 Cops Tx, and countless others, it is simply a way of life.
On Jan. 10, Cops 4 Cops held a special event in Cass County to honor the life of Trooper Damon Allen. Trooper Allen was gunned down during a traffic stop on Thanksgiving 2017 in Fairfield, Tx.
“It is my honor and privilege to welcome all of you here today to this ceremony commemorating Texas DPS Trooper Damon Allen and dedicate to his memory this official reminder of all officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.” said Judge Becky Wilbanks in the opening of the ceremony.
Trooper Allen was stationed in Groesbeck at the time of his death. His family and friends attended the Ceremony in Linden.
“We know when officers are on duty, their spouses and family are on duty as well praying they return safely to them. We recognize Damon’s years of service are your years of service as well. Please know that our love and prayers are extended to you and your family.” Said Judge Wilbanks addressing the late Trooper’s wife and children.
The ceremony was not only intended to introduce Cops 4 Cops TX, but to honor fallen officers.
“Cops 4 Cops was created by Byron Colston to honor the fallen-- this past October, Byron Colston contacted me as a wrap company in Texas with the idea to wrap with vinyl this car the ‘Thin Blue Line’ American Flag so that it would appear draped over the car. The car will be used for funerals, parades and charity events. When we began this project, we knew there would be some form of formal presentation. -Its unfortunate that since the project began that the State of Texas lost two heroes, two troopers in the line of duty. The most recent, Trooper Allen, on Thanksgiving.” Said Mark Rinehart.
“On that Friday after, Byron was delivering the car to me in Atlanta, Tx to be wrapped and the tragedy was fresh on our hearts and minds and he said ‘Mark, we need to dedicate this car. It’s changed now. I want to dedicate this car to Trooper Allen, so that people will never forget,’ and that has turned in to the more important reason that we are here today.” Said Rinehart
“This has been a group effort, from Bryon Colston in Sanger, Tx, to Atlanta, Tx, to Brandon Barnette of Ink Wraps shop in Tulsa Oklahoma.” Said Rinehart
“This is a unique car” Rinehart said.
The wrapping of the car was not without expense, however.
“The design fee, which the design was created by Brandon, was free of charge, East Texas Wraps laid the vinyl free of charge. There was an expense for the vinyl itself and money was donated by business which you will see listed on the back of the car. Two of those were in Cass County and that’s why the first presentation is here in East Texas” Rinehart explained.
Cops 4 Cops TX is a non-profit organization that is spearheaded by Byron Colston.
“At cops 4 cops, what we do, 90% of every dollar goes out to these officers, their families, and to preventative measures.” Said Colston.
“Nothing hurts my heart more than to make friends this way. I was at home and I got a call that there was a Trooper down in Freestone County. My heart sank.” Said Colston.
Cops 4 Cops Texas not only provides support for the families of fallen officers. They provide training, body armors, weapons, and support to Texas law enforcement.
“I no longer wear a uniform but these are my brothers and sisters in blue. We all wear a badge and we all do this for the same reason. My time in uniform is over but my passion for these officers is not.” Said Colston.
“I want nothing more to help these guys.” Said Colston.
Colston then presented the Allen Family with two shadow boxes of Police department patches from departments across the United States, along with other gifts of remembrance in honor of Trooper Allen.
“I think its outstanding that we have an organization with the support of many folks that are supporting these heroes, one of which we honor here today.” Said Representative Chris Paddie.
The ceremony ended with the unveiling of the 2010 Camaro with Trooper Allen’s Family. The car will be housed in Sanger, Tx.