The Line of Duty

By Aaron J. Derton
News Director

Sometimes we take for granted that there are men and women in our own communities who sacrifice their time with family, their health and even their lives. When we get a ticket for speeding or parking where we aren’t supposed to, we forget that there is a person inside the uniform.

Officer Ken Copeland was a public servant. He gave his time, effort, career and eventually his life to the city he and his family called home. During a press conference Monday night, Chase Stapp, the Chief of Police in San Marcos, said Mr. Copeland and other SMPD officers were serving an arrest warrant for what Chief Stapp described only as a “violent crime.”

SMPD Chief Chase Stapp (left) speaking at a press conference Monday night with Mayor John Thomaides (right). Photo by Aaron J. Derton.

Shortly after the officers’ arrival, the suspect fired on them, wounding – fatally – Officer Copeland. Mr. Copeland was rushed to the Central Texas Medical Center in a police cruiser, but succumbed to his injuries.

Mr. Copeland, according to Chief Stapp, is the first San Marcos police officer to die in the line of duty. “Today was his day off. And he worked just about every day off – to provide for his kids, because he knew we are short-handed and need the help. His picture’s hanging all over our police department because everybody loved him.”

Mr. Copeland graduated from Sam Houston State University in 1981 with a BS in Agriculture. He worked as a corrections officer from 1982-1990 and was Deputy Sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Officer from 1990-1995. Officer Copeland leaves behind his wife, Sheila and four sons.

Featured image by Aaron J. Derton.

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