This is not LGBT-related, but I am posting it for three reasons:
1. I live in Fort Worth and I depend on the Fort Worth Police Department to keep our city safe.
2. I recently attended a day-long “training” at the Fort Worth Police Academy and through that learned a great deal about the dangers police officers everywhere face every day and I gained a profound respect for how hard it can be for them to do their job. And
3. Over the past 12 months, I have gotten to know several members of the Fort Worth Police Department — and at least one civilian employee in the FWPD Crime Lab — and I have great respect for those individuals.
So here it is: The Fort Worth Police Officers Association will be holding a prayer vigil for Officer Richard Lambing and Fort Worth Firefighter Mark Puente on Monday, July 19, at 7 p.m., on the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse at 100 E. Weatherford St. Those scheduled to attend include Mayor Mike Moncrief, members of the Fort Worth City Council, Police Chief Jeff Halstead, Fire Chief Rudy Jackson and Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson.
Officer Lambing was assisting in the chase after a motorcyclist who was fleeing Tarrant County sheriff’s deputies on July 8 when his patrol car reportedly hit a water-filled low spot on the rain-soaked road, causing the car to hydroplane and spin into a tree, according to reports in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He was hospitalized in critical condition with severe head trauma.
Lambing, a 15-year veteran of FWPD, is also an active Navy reservist who served as an intelligence officer in Iraq. He is 37 years old and has earned 29 commendations since earning his peace officer’s license in 1995.
Puente was off duty and on his way to the gym to work out on July 11 when his vehicle was hit by a man in a pickup truck who was fleeing from police, according to reports by CBS Channel 11. The man who hit Puente had reportedly kidnapped his former girlfriend’s grandson and had already been involved in at least one other collission before he ran into Puente.
Puente was hospitalized in critical condition after the accident.
Puente has been a Fort Worth firefighter since 2008 and currently works for FWFD’s Battalion 5 on the west side. He graduated in 2003 from Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth and played soccer during his college years at Texas Wesleyan University. He also plays on the FWFD soccer team set to play in the Texas Firefighter Olympics next week in Irving.