The Greater Houston C.O.P.S. instituted two programs that the public can join to show support for the fallen officers and their families. Project Blue Light gets residents to place a blue light in a window of a home or business. By keeping the blue lights burning, it is a constant reminder to everyone that law enforcement officers serve and protect the public ``every day, every minute, and every second of the year.''
The Blue Ribbon Program encourages the public and law enforcement personnel to tie blue ribbons to their car antennas during National Police Week. C.O.P.S. hopes the blue ribbons are a reminder to the public that many law enforcement officers have already paid the ultimate price and given their lives in the line of duty. They also encourage the public to display their blue ribbons outside of National Police Week, to honor those officers who are in our communities each day, putting their lives on the line to keep the public safe.
The Greater Houston C.O.P.S. is an active chapter of the national organization of Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. and continues to advocate for citizens in the Greater Houston area to support the law enforcement officers lost, still serving, and the families of these officers.
I applaud C.O.P.S. and Greater Houston C.O.P.S. for their dedication and commitment to law enforcement and their families.
Senior Police Officer Gary A. Gryder assigned to the Southeast Division, Paroled Offender's Unit, while directing traffic was struck and killed at Katy Freeway West service road at Highway 6 on Sunday, June 29, 2008. Officer Gryder was a twenty-three (23) year veteran of the Department joining on January 7, 1985, entering Police Academy Class No. 126. He is survived by his wife, Retired Senior Police Officer Debra L. Gryder, who served the Department for over twenty-seven (27) years, his son, Austin A. Gryder and a daughter, Jennifer Streeter. He is also survived by his Father-in-law, Retired Police Officer Alfred B. Lewis, who retired from the Department after serving over thirty-one (31) years, on March 2, 1981.
Madam Speaker, I attended the funeral of Officer Gryder along with hundreds of other citizens. His wife, Debbie, and his family now join the ranks of C.O.P.S. Our communities need to constantly remember our fallen police and their families that will need to continue on without their loved ones.
And that's just the way it is.