While a Fort Worth police officer recovers in the hospital after being badly hurt in the line of duty, community-led efforts to raise money for his medical costs have continued.
Officer Matt Brazeal has been recovering at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth since June 13 after he was hit by a suspected stolen car. He was moved out of the ICU late last month and remained in the hospital as of Saturday, according to Fort Worth Police Department spokesperson Buddy Calzada.
Brazeal is currently working through physical therapy, Calzada said.
On Saturday, a fundraiser was held for Brazeal’s family to help with medical costs. Kenny Gruber, one of the organizers, said the funds donated are from raffle proceeds. Cooper’s BBQ, where the benefit truck show was held, also donated 10% of its proceeds, Gruber said.
“These days, the cops are under heavy scrutiny. A lot of people don’t publicly support them, but I believe most people do,” he said.
Some people who attended, including Amber Collins of Granbury, said they did not know Brazeal personally. Still, she said she felt the need to show support.
“I think all officers need support, especially when something tragic happens to them,” Collins said. “I couldn’t imagine a world where you couldn’t call an officer for help if you needed it, plus they do so much good for the community.”
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Collins wasn’t alone. For Rio Vista resident Randy McClain, the need to support law enforcement and first responders hit home.
“I have several of them that are friends. I have an adopted son that’s a firefighter,” McClain said.
There are other ongoing efforts to support Brazeal's family. For more information, click here.