Community remembers Hutto police officer 2 years after his death

Saturday marks two years since the death of Hutto Police Sergeant Chris Kelley.

Saturday, June 24, marks two years since the 2015 death of Hutto Police Sergeant Chris Kelley.

Kelley died in the line of duty when a man he was trying to arrest allegedly ran him over with his own patrol car.

In his honor, Saturday will also be the second annual Sergeant Chris Kelley Memorial Run in Hutto.

"He was the best of us,” said Kelley’s friend, fellow Hutto Police officer Josh Bellenir.

Bellenir worked the same shift as Kelley, and the two became close friends.

"One in a million,” said Bellenir as he described Kelley. "An incredible sense of humor, very, very supportive, no matter what you were, he would befriend anybody.”

Even two years later, it’s difficult for him to talk about his friend

"It's still heartbreaking, it doesn't get any better to deal with time just goes by,” said Bellenir.

He tries to talk about his friend in a present tense, not as someone who is gone.

"The biggest thing to me is to never forget him," said Bellenir. "The more we can do things in his honor, the more we can continue to talk about Chris, and we can always remember him, and that's what we want, we never want him to be spoken of as a distant memory cause to us he's not a distant memory."

It's a goal the city agrees with.

They named a main Hutto thoroughfare Chris Kelley Boulevard.

And Saturday, the community will take part in the second annual Chris Kelley Memorial 5K.

"This is a memorial run to honor his memory and the memory of other officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice,” said Chief of Police  Byron Frankland. "It honors his memory of what he brought to the Hutto police department what he brought to law enforcement as a profession, he was out doing his job like every officer gets up everyone morning, goes to work and you never know what the day's going to bring.”

Since Kelley’s death, Bellenir said they keep an extra watch for their fellow officers.

"Unfortunately there's departments across the country that have to deal with this all the time, and I think that's something that happens at every department that experiences loss like this,” said Bellenir. "You attend their funerals, it's devastating, its heartbreaking, but when one hits you this close you can't help but take that little extra step, everyone gets a little more cautious, and we tend to take care of each other a little bit more, and I don't think that's anything abnormal."

"It's important for the Hutto police department, it's also very important for us to honor those who have played the ultimate sacrifice, to keep their memory alive, to let everyone know that they lived their life and it wasn't in vain," said Frankland.

"It hits close to home, even as police officers where you see it happen to other departments, it's different when it happens at your department,” said Bellenir.

But the run isn’t just for those in Hutto, Pflugerville Police Chief Jessica Robledo plans to run too.

"Because we can't forget because he paid the ultimate price,” said Robledo.

Robledo even tweeted, encouraging those from the community to join.

"It doesn't matter what community it is, it's the fact that he's a public servant and he has a family,” said Robledo.

Robledo got to know Kelley’s family after she worked at another department with his father.

"At the end of the day it doesn't matter, it's about every officer that pays the price,” said Robledo.

"We’re a brotherhood, a sisterhood, we're a family of blue and we support each other,” said Frankland. "Regardless of where you're working, or what agency, what unit, what uniform you wear, there's that common bond that we all have.”

A support, not just seen in the law enforcement family, but also the entire community Kelley worked so hard to protect.

"Just to see the impact that Chris had on every person he ever came in contact with, it really is amazing,” said Bellenir.

"To have the citizens support in this area, it's just outstanding,” said Frankland.

"It shows the family and the children of the fallen officers, you're not alone," said Robledo.

"Helps the Kelley family through a very difficult time," said Frankland.

Participants can still sign up for the Memorial Run/Walk Saturday morning. It starts at 8:00 a.m.

They want to encourage everyone to come out, even if you’re not a runner.

"They can still see the impact that Chris had on so many people,” said Bellenir. "I think the main focus is to always remember who Chris was and what he stood for."

As for the case against the man accused of murder in Kelley's death, a trial is set for Colby Ray Williamson in August.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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