San Marcos Police officer death strikes close to home for Brownwood Police Chief

BROWNWOOD, Texas (KTAB) - Monday, a hill country police officer was shot and killed in what police are calling an ambush. 58 year old San Marcos police officer Kenneth Copeland was serving a warrant when the suspect opened fire. Copeland was wounded by several gunshots, even though he was wearing a protective vest at the time. He died at a nearby hospital, after being driven there by one of his fellow officers. The suspect was wounded and is under guard in an Austin hospital. This is the first death of a San Marcos police officer in the line of duty and it hits close to home for one police chief in the Big Country.

Brownwood Police Chief Terry Nichols served for the San Marcos Police Department for 21 years before coming to Brownwood. He knew officer Kenneth Copeland well and described him as one of the happiest uplifting people you will ever meet.

When Chief Nichols heard the news about his former colleague, officer Kenneth Copeland, he said he was in absolute shock.  Chief Nichols served in San Marcos for 21 years and worked with officer Copeland for 12

"He was one of those solid officers I could always count on," Chief Nichols said.

Chief Nichols said this is becoming more and more prevalent.

"We have to be prepared when we leave the office, when we leave home everyday we kiss our loved ones goodbye when we put on that uniform to do this job that that could be the day," Chief Nichols said.

Although Chief Nichols has never lost an officer in the line of duty, he has lost an officer.

"We lost officer Bryan Greenrock here with the Brownwood Police Department last summer to a motor vehicle accident off duty," Chief Nichols said.

So he knows how much a loss like this effects the department

"They woke up today to a new normal that they're going to have to adjust to without a smile and face walking down the hallway, a man uplifting their spirits every time they see him," Chief Nichols said.

And Chief Nichols said the only thing he and the San Marcos Police Department can do now is put their uniforms on, put their badges on and go back to work.

"Mourn Ken but at the same time honor his legacy by going out and doing what he would do and that would be mourn but get back to work because we have a job to do," Chief Nichols said.

Chief Nichols sends his thoughts and prayers to officer Copeland's family and the department and says he will attend the funeral. officer Copeland leaves behind a wife and four kids.


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