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Ferris officer’s name engraved on the Texas Peace Officers Memorial wall in Austin

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SHERRY LONG
The Ellis County Press

AUSTIN - Ferris Police Officer Harry M. 'Marty' Steinfeldt was honored May 5 in Austin during a memorial service to remember Texas peace officers killed in the line of duty.

'Marty was dedicated to his job. He [was] a good officer, ' Ferris Mayor Jimmie Birdwell said as he fondly remembered Steinfeldt.

'He had a really good personality.'

Steinfeldt's name was engraved in the Texas Peace Officers Memorial, on the northeastern corner of State Capitol grounds.

Governor Rick Perry delivered the keynote address during Monday's memorial service.
Perry met and greeted each family and presented them with a Texas flag, a copy of a resolution from the House of Representatives and a Medal of Valor.

Steinfeldt's name joins more than 1,100 heroic peace officers remembered on the black granite walls.

He was killed in the line of duty, Oct. 6, 2002 while responding to a 9-1-1 call of a man with a .12 gauge shotgun at the Diamond Shamrock on

the I-45 service road and 5th Street.

According to reports, Kent William Sprouse, 30, was seated in his 1971 yellow Mustang after killing Red Oak resident Pedro Moreno when Steinfeldt arrived at the scene.

Sprouse's automobile hood was raised, preventing Steinfeldt from seeing him with his shotgun.

Sprouse fired two rounds striking Steinfeldt.

A wounded Steinfeldt returned fire before falling to the ground.

A two-year veteran of the Ferris Police Department, Steinfeldt joined the force after serving in Bosnia as a United States Army Military Policeman.

Sprouse is scheduled for a pre-trail court appearance Aug. 1 in the 40th District Court after being charged for the murders of Steinfeldt and Moreno.

His trial is expected to begin late fall.

In May 1999, the Texas Police Officer's Memorial was dedicated after a decade of fundraising, planning, designing and construction.

The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, a peace officer labor union, wanted to erect a memorial to honor fallen comrades.

'There was no real monument honoring officers on the grounds,' said Charlie Wilkinson, political and legislative director of CLEAT.

Memorials are conducted bi-annually during legislative sessions to alert lawmakers of the sacrifices law enforcement personnel make.

'We want politicians of the state to know officers are being killed in the line of duty,' said Wilkinson.

Ferris Police officers traveled to Austin to attend a public memorial service for Steinfeldt.

Chief Jeff Cottongame and Sgt. Mike Zaidle will attend a memorial service in Washington D.C. during National Police Week, May 11-16 to honor Steinfeldt.

Steinfeldt's name will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial blue-gray marble walls.

Over 14,000 federal, state and local law enforcement personnel are honored on the memorial.

President George Bush dedicated the memorial in 1991.


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Nelson Propane

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