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It was an emotional afternoon for many law enforcement agents in and around the Howard County area Tuesday, as local and state officials came together to name the newly constructed joint law enforcement center after fallen DPS Trooper Troy M. Hogue, a Big Spring native killed in the line of duty in 1994.
The new Troy Hogue Joint Law Enforcement Center â€” located in the 3600 block of W. Highway 80 â€” represents a first for the Crossroads area, as the facility will house both the Big Spring Police Department and the Howard County Sheriff's Office.
The facility represents a joint venture between the city of Big Spring and Howard County, with funding for the facility coming from both government agencies. The project is estimated to cost approximately $2.7 million, with the city of Big Spring chipping in $1.7 million and the county picking up the balance.
While construction of the facility began in February with a groundbreaking ceremony, Big Spring Police Chief Lonnie Smith said several members of Hogue's family were unable to attend, making Tuesday's dedication even more important to him and other law enforcement officials.
â€śOne of the honors that was bestowed on law enforcement happened Jan. 24, 1995, when the city council at that time named the police building located on 400 E. Fourth Street the Troy M. Hogue Law Enforcement Center, after Troy. When we started talking about this (new facility), Feb. 22 we had another honor for the family and the memory of Troy when we held the groundbreaking ceremony.
â€śThere's a legacy Troy has left behind, besides just his family, and this ceremony today is for them. To let them know our love and care are for you all. What he gave, we still appreciate, more so with this new building on account he would love to see this.â€ť
Congressman Randy Neugebauer was on hand for the ceremony and presented Sheriff Stan Parker and Smith with a U.S. flag flown over the nation's capitol as a token of support for the hard work that has gone into designing and constructing the new facility.
â€śThis new facility â€” a partnership between the police department and sheriff's department â€” makes sense for the taxpayers. This is going to be a state-of-the-art facility,â€ť Neugebauer said. â€śHowever, facilities are just one part of this. What really makes these departments are the people who put on the uniform every day and keep us safe. They are the men and women you see around you. To honor Troy by naming this facility after him is a tribute to him.â€ť
Neugebauer said it's important to remember the uniformed men and women who protect the nation overseas, however, it's just as important to remember those who stand against domestic threats.
â€śOne of the things I've had the opportunity to do as your congressman is to travel around the world and meet the men and women who put on the uniform for our armed services and we thank them for their service,â€ť Neugebauer said. â€śHowever, there's another group of people who put on their uniforms every day and put their lives on the line for you and I to make sure we're safe here, domestically. Those are the people you see standing around you today and I want you to thank them.
â€śThere's also another part of this service and that is these men and women's family members. We have Troy's family here today and we know this is a dangerous job. Men and women have given their lives protecting us, just as Troy did. We thank their families, as well, because this is a team sport. They support these men and women who go out and protect us, as they do every day.â€ť
County Judge Mark Barr said he had little doubt the facility â€” located adjacent to the county's detention center â€” will serve both the county's and city's needs for many years to come.
â€śWe started this project about two years ago. The sheriff and the (police) chief came to me and and told me they needed to move out to the jail,â€ť Barr said. â€śI knew that was coming, although it came a little quicker than I had expected. Things developed with the city and it became apparent it was a very good idea to put this joint law enforcement center out here. It's going to save us money, it's going to be much more efficient and it will address some safety issues at the jail. We're glad to have them out here.â€ť
Big Spring Mayor Tommy Duncan called the ability to name the facility after Hogue a great honor.
â€śI really appreciate all of the troopers coming in from out of town to recognize this facility. I want you to know how proud I am of the police chief and the sheriff for the work they did and coming together and to recognize the whole family,â€ť Duncan said. â€śIt's a great honor for Big Spring to take this coming together of two government entities working together to save taxpayers money and to assist in protecting this community to name this facility after Trooper Troy Hogue. I'm very proud to have that honor.â€ť
Parker said there is still some work to be done inside the law enforcement center, but expects the facility will be ready for both law enforcement agencies to move into sometime in mid to late October.