CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Kingsville Police Department retired fallen officer Sherman Benys’ badge Friday, adding it and two other officers’ badges on Friday.
Benys died exactly a year ago Friday after being shot while on-duty.
Benys served the city of Kingsville as a police officer for 20 years before his death, and people at Friday’s badge retirement ceremony, told 3NEWS they hope it helps people remember him and his sacrifice.
"You can see officers walking around a little more introspective, thinking about that, and thinking about him and his family and how they're dealing with it,” said Kingsville Police Chief Ricardo Torres. “So, when you lose one of your brothers, it lays heavy on your heart."
Benys' family attended the event, saying it was a long time coming.
"It's overwhelming how much they're coming together to, not only support my dad, but also to support our law enforcement, our local law enforcement,” said Benys’ daughter Breanne Polhemus. “It's amazing."
The family was dressed in matching T-shirts displaying the name of their new foundation -- 81s Heroes. They plan to make donations of more than $2,500 to the Kingsville Police Department and the Kleberg Sheriff's Office.
"Just having the love and support for the existing officers, it's helped us cope and get through what we, what's happened to us," said Benys’ widow Vicki.
The family said the foundation will help provide equipment, training and counseling for the agencies.
One year after this death, they hope what they're doing will provide for all those who risk their lives as first responders.
"I know that he is looking down and is proud of what we're doing, and I know it's what he would want us to do for them," Vicki Benys said.
Anyone interested can join 81s Heroes, and the family plans to have an annual event to honor Benys and to raise money for Kingsville and Kleberg County first responders.
"We're trying to make something tragic that happened into a positive for our community," Polhemus said.