Tuesday was National Night Out, an evening aimed at bringing police and neighbors together.
One North Texas city originally cancelled the event because of COVID-19 concerns but then reversed course when the night took on new meaning.
Like everything in 2020, National Night Out still looked different this year.
In Highland Village, waves replaced handshakes and some paused to pray in a drive-thru salute to a police officer who couldn’t be there.
“It really hits home because I’ve never heard an ill word come out of that man’s mouth in my six years here,” Highland Village police Chief Doug Reim said.
Sgt. Dennis Oliver joined the force 17 years ago. He was hired, Reim said, for his heart.
A light-hearted, always-smiling people person, Oliver was also a family man, father and deacon at New Life Community Church in Frisco.
“When you love someone, you can have them for 1,000 years and that's never enough time, and Dennis was that kind of friend and that kind of man,” Pastor James Hutchins said.
Oliver was hospitalized a little more than two weeks ago.
“He was a positive test and was admitted to the hospital as a positive COVID case,” Reim said.
Oliver suffered complications from the virus and died Friday.
Afterwards, Reim said he felt continuing National Night Out was necessary so the community could say goodbye.
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
Oliver was 49 years old. He leaves behind a wife and two sons.
His funeral is planned for Saturday. Click here for more information.