14-year-old Tyler girl running to honor fallen law enforcement officers

Back The Blue

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) -A young East Texan is focused on honoring fallen law enforcement officers.

GMET’s Brennon Gurley shows us how the 14-year-old is paying tribute.

With a blue striped law enforcement flag gripped firmly in her hand, a young girl is hitting the pavement, hoping to make a difference.

“They risk their lives every day and they risk their lives for people they don't know,” explains 14-year-old Faith Leach.

To show her appreciation, 14-year-old faith is dedicated to honor fallen law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, through running four miles for each person.

“I’m just glad to do it in my heart when I'm running,” explains Faith.

Most recently, faith honored fallen police officer 26-year-old Jackson Winkeler. He was gunned down January 5th, 2020, during a South Carolina traffic stop.

“It’s important to remember them so the officers that are working now they know that whenever if they die in line of duty, we’ll remember them still,” says Faith.

In 2019, 134 law enforcement officers died while in the line of duty in the U.S., according to the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Fund.

Those who serve our community like Tyler Police Officer Kerri Long say while it’s disheartening, it's the reality officers face.

Kerri Long, Community Response Officer, with the Tyler Police Department, tells KLTV,” “As soon as we get in that patrol car and we cross those gates we are police officers and we will run and do whatever to help anybody.”

As officer long continues to dedicate her time through protecting and serving, she hopes the number of deaths decrease.

“You can see on the officers down page and you hope and pray that you don't see another officer shot and killed,” explains Officer Long.

However, the 18-year veteran officer and Faith's mom are grateful she is paying respects to the fallen brothers and sisters.

“I mean that's amazing. You don't hear too many teenagers doing something like that,” explains Officer Long.

“I think it opens her eyes even more to want to make change and to bring change and hopefully change people's hearts,” says Amber Leach, Faith’s mom.

Faith wants the families to know that their loved one’s legacy is not forgotten, even if they are hundreds of miles away.

“Maybe one day the family will see what I did for the officer and they'll still realize that he was still remembered,” says Faith.

This week, the 14-year-old will pay tribute to two fallen officers.

That includes an officer killed in a motorcycle crash in Florida and K-9 Officer Thor who was euthanized after being hurt in a wreck.

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