Among the officers who traveled great distances to be at Trooper Damon Allen's funeral Friday was a man who first met the trooper about a decade ago.
Cleveland ISD Police Chief Rex Evans said he and Allen met in the honor guard.
"We met in passing, but we always shook hands, talked, and exchanged what was going on in our lives. He just always seemed like just a super good guy," Evans said.
Allen was a guy Evans could lean on, especially when they attended funerals together as part of their honor guard responsibilities.
"Some people have a certain number that they stop at. Some people don't. I stopped counting at 25 [funerals]," he said.
He said his family almost had to plan his own funeral.
"March 9, 2010, I was actually shot in the line of duty ... and I never thought it would happen to me," Evans said.
He never thought it would happen to Allen, either.
"Once the suspect was located and apprehended, we were able to all, I think, kind of shift to, 'We need to take care of the family.' We're trying to show the family, 'You don't have to stand in this dark hour alone. We're gonna be here,'" he said.
Evans wrote a post on Facebook the day following Allen's death, which was shared and liked by hundreds of people. The words were so powerful that Allen's family invited him to read it at the funeral.
"Very humbled, almost overwhelmed, by such a request. But here I am, and I want to do the best I can with it," he said.
Evans said he wanted to be there at Allen's funeral the same way Allen was there for the families of the fallen.
This time, Evans wasn't there as a member of the honor guard. Instead, he was there as a friend to yet another fallen law enforcement officer.
"No one stands alone upon this line we all hold so dearly. Godspeed, troop," Evans said as he finished his speech. "Fear not and rest easy now, for all the contacts, all the calls from here on and ever more, we've got 'em."
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