The first of two public memorials for a fallen Dallas police officer killed in the line of duty took place Thursday evening.
The public candlelight vigil for Northeast Division Officer Rogelio Santander, 27, was held at the Northeast Patrol Station. About 30 members of Santander's family sat in the front row as police officers in uniforms surrounded them.
Mayor Mike Rawlings praised police from the Northeast Division and called on citizens to have a deeper appreciation for law enforcement.
"I see too much in the streets and in the media, ‘I like the police, but… but… but….’ The 'buts' must stop," Rawlings said. "We must honor and revere these men and women, day in and day out. There must be a revivial in this city and in this country of support for our police officers."
Chief U. Renee Hall called on police to continue to remember their purpose of protecting the innocent.
"We must fight the enemy with love," Hall said. "Love is the only thing that conquers hate.
And hate is what dropped this tragedy at our front door.
But it will not win."
Since the shooting, a steady stream of visitors have left flowers, cards and balloons outside the substation where Santander worked.
A public visitation will be held in downtown Dallas Monday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Cathedral Guadalupe at 2215 Ross Avenue.
His funeral will be the following day at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, one week after he was fatally shot by a suspected shoplifter at a North Dallas Home Depot.
The shooting also gravely wounded Santander’s partner Officer Crystal Almeida and Home Depot Loss Prevention employee Scott Painter.
“Anytime they get hurt, or like this, the loss of life is not good for any of us because we’ve lost a friend, an employee for the city, a person who goes out and cares,” said police volunteer Darrell Wood. “That’s hard to find in today’s world, the person who’s really dedicated to the job and goes out and puts his life on the line.”
Officers from across North Texas volunteered to answer calls at the Northeast Division so officers could have time to grieve.