Tyler ministry offers crisis support to family, co-workers of fallen Smith County deputy

“We don’t ever want to happen but we prepare for those days so that we’re ready when they do happen.”
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 10:28 AM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Early Friday morning Smith County Deputy Lorenzo Bustos died after being hit during a traffic stop. Now, a Tyler organization has stepped up to help with crisis response for families, friends, and co-workers of Bustos.

“The kind of thing that we don’t ever want to happen but we prepare for those days so that we’re ready when they do happen,” said Jason Pointer, the Crime Victim Program Director with Crisis Response Ministry.

They provide care and support to individuals and families impacted by acts of crime and disaster.

“We received a call, our executive director did, not too long after the incident. So he was able to give me a ring at about one in the morning and say this what we have, this is what’s going on and what do you think about this alignment of sending this person here, these two people here and so forth,” Pointer said.

Friday morning, six of their members were mobilized to help following the incident.

“We sent a couple to the gentleman’s house to be with his children and to be with his wife until her sister arrived so she could come to the hospital,” he said. “So they stayed the whole night with the sister and the children, basically just that ministry of presence to that sister.”

They had another volunteer go to the 911 call center and one stayed behind at their headquarters.

“She wound up receiving, later in the morning, the dispatcher who took the call and she sat right at this desk and did a critical incident debriefing with that dispatcher, which those things can be so important in those times, we’re like emotional paramedics in a way. Not to take the place of counseling or anything like that,” he said.

Pointer and another volunteer spent the morning at the hospital with dozens of family members and law enforcement providing a ministry of presence and crisis counseling.

“In a situation like this, obviously there was so many deep feelings over the course of the night. And then once he did pass then it just sort of cycled back to the very beginning of like it was when we first arrived. Very raw, very real. You just have to be with people in those dark moments,” Pointer said.

Their goal is to be a helping hand, someone that people can lean on in tough times.

“As somebody who’s used to keeping it all together as a law enforcement officer or deputy, when you don’t quite know what to do with your emotions, you need somebody you can trust to express those emotions with.”

They also had a volunteer in the motorcade escorting the deputy’s body to Dallas for an autopsy.

CRM says they plan to offer support throughout the week to those who need it.

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