Sammy Charles LongTexas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol, Texas
End of Watch: Sunday, November 21, 1976
Reflections for Patrolman Sammy Charles Long
I lived in Rankin Texas when this tragedy happened. I was 11 and later heard that the state of Texas awarded the hunter two gold plated 45 pistols. His name was kept a secret for obvious reasons. I also heard he and his son were witness to Trooper Long's murder that day. Rest in Peace Trooper Long !
April 1, 2017
I was in 7th grade in McCamey when Mr. Long was killed. It was so hard for me to understand at the time and still is to this day. I am so grateful to him and all others who serve to protect us.
Lori Steward Warren
June 9, 2016
I learned to respect officers of law enforcement from Sammy Long as a teenager in McCamey. Sammy was a fair man that gave many of us teenagers in the 60's sound advice-counsel. He was always at our home football games standing by the fence near the concession stand. I've enjoyed visiting with his widowed wife Martha Long at MHS school reunions over the years. As a former teacher she also had a positive-lasting influence on many lady Badgers. RIP. Trooper. Long, Sammy C. TDPS 1976.
October 6, 2015
I worked as a TABC officer in Odessa and the surrounding area. I knew Sammy and always admired his dedication to duty and fairness to all he met. I was saddened to learn of his demise as I had left the area earlier to another assignment. He was a fine man and I think of him often.
Larry D. Barton
December 15, 2013
I was a DPS Trooper in Midland, Texas when Sammy Long got on the radio and went "10-33" traffic in pursuit of a black pickup truck Eastbound on US 67 toward Rankin and Big Lake. Vick Atwood was on the radio with the dispatcher telling Sammy he was on the way, keep him coming. The radio equipment was not great back then, but we knew listening to the dispatcher what was happening. Several minutes later it was relayed to all of us that Sammy had been killed and the maggot that did it was dead.
I didn't work with Sammy daily but interacted with him at meetings and special assignments. On one occasion I helped him end a high speed chase from McCamey to Odessa on Hwy 385.
Sammy never met a stranger, always had a great smile and HUGE handshake. I stop at the granite marker 6 miles East on Rankin each year when I go hunting in Crane county.
David Hancock, former DPS Trooper
July 29, 2013
Just spent the last hour talking to an old timer who grew up with Ofc. Long (Sammy, as he referred to him). I got to hear about how great a guy Sammy was and the story of how he was taken from this world to early. May God bless his memory and the citizen who took out his killer.
Senior Police Officer, Butler G.
Austin Police Department
June 8, 2013
While on patrol i made a traffic stop and i contacted the driver, a elderly man. I told him why i had stopped him and asked for his license. He began to tell me how much respect he has for law enforcement and how dangerous are job is. As he was retrieving his license, i noticed a small laminated card that was stuck to his license. He handed me the card and stated, " you might be interested in this card" i took the card, and i read how it was an commendation from the Texas Dps for valiant attempt to save patrolman Sammy Long's life in 1976. He than asked if i wanted to hear the real story, and i said yes. He told me the story, very emotional during most of it, and at the end he stated,"it was a bad day, but i did what i had to do"
Shawnee Police Dept.
Sergeant D. Bordeaux
Shawnee Police Dept.
November 30, 2012
My father, Trooper Vick D. Atwood, was stationed in Big Lake, TX and worked with Sammy for many, many years. Dad was first on the scene when Sammy was killed. In high school, I do not remember many, many Friday Night Lights when I didn't see Dad and Sammy following the chains on west Texas football fields. At that time there were few decent restaurants from the city limites of San Angelo to Ft. Stockton for law enforcement to eat, so our home in Big Lake was always open for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We all enjoyed Sammy's wild sense of humor at the kitchen table. As I look back, I have such fond memories of him, his wife and son. The good times are missed.
Daughter of Vick D. Atwood
August 2, 2012
Sammy was my frist partner when I went to work (1968). I spent over a year in the same partol car. I new him better then most. He once wrote me a HP-15, thats a ticket, for farting in the patrol car and sent it in to the sgt. He had a great sence of humer and I spent the best year of my life riding next to him. I have many time though of what would have happen , had I been with him that day. I can tell you this for sure, sammy was a devoted family man.
Ed Holland (Chief of Police) Ret.
Texas Highway Patroloman
July 10, 2012
The man who commented above, Rick Easterwood, is my father. I have heard coutnless stories about Trooper Long from him. My Dad is a hero to me, and to read about him calling someone else a hero is amazing to me in the trusest sense. I come from a long background of DPS; my Dad with 30 years, his brother (my uncle) 30 years...also retired, and I still live the DPS life today, as my husband is a DPS Trooper.
I pray for every police officer's safety on a daily basis. I have actually been to the Austin, TX DPS Academy and seen the photo of Trooper Long. It is a somber story, but one of heroism. God bless Trooper Long, his family, and all law enforcement officers serving today.
Autumn Easterwood Anderson
May 28, 2012
I found this web site today, quite by accident. My name is Rick Easterwood, my career with Texas DPS began in 1974 and Trooper SAMMY LONG was my first partner. We worked together for 2 years and he taught me so many things. He was a great man and truly one of my heros. I had transferred out of Upton county when Sammy was murdered. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with the deer hunter that shot and killed Sammy's attacker...
I went on to retire from the DPS after serving 30 years with that agency. I currently am still in law enforcement with a much smaller agency but not one day goes by that i don't use something in my job that i learned from Sammy Long. He was a great man and one day, I hope to be able to stand in his presence again.
Constable Rick Easterwood
Lamar County, Tx. Pct. 4 (former partner)
May 27, 2012
I'm an Oklahoma State Trooper and never heard your story. The other day I stopped an old man for a minor traffic violation. He proceeded to tell me this fasinating story and presented me a document recogninzing him for his attempt to save your life. He was the deer hunter who shot and killed your attacker. His recolection of the events after all these years and his ability to share them was inspiring. I just wanted to say the old man still lives with and thinks of you daily.
Trooper Dwight L Durant X189
February 18, 2012
I was born in McCamey Texas back in 1946 as my dad worked in the oil industry at that time. I recall some of my mothers tales of living in McCamey and since we moved over to Midland a few years later, before I started school, I do not have any recollections of actually living there. However many years later in early March 1976 I was coming home to Houston Tx and I planned my return to come through McCamey as I wanted to go by the Hospital to see where I was born. I happened to stop at a highway intersection and Officer Long was also stopped and I asked him directions to the hospital. He asked me if I had an emergency and I told him that was not the case, but I only wanted to go by to see the place I was born. I remember him to be very courteous and very helpful and probably thought me to be strange just wanting to see the hospital. Anyway, after I returned home, I told my mother about going through McCamey and I told her Officer Long's name. Well sadly enough the following November she was reading the news and came across the story about Officer Long's tragic death and I have always remembered him and the chance meeting I had that day. I have always respected our DPS Troopers and have had a few traffic stops by them over the years and have always found them all to be very polite and courteous. This was always appreciated as they usually just issued a warning and asked me to slow down and be safe.
Years later after I retired, my wife and I moved to Huntsville, Tx. and she was very fortunate to have the opportunity to go to work for the local Texas Ranger Lieutenant here as an adm. assistant and we have been able to become friends with all the Rangers in Company A and other companies. Yesterday while attending a pre-Christmas Party with some of the Co. A Rangers, her boss gave me a book "Working on the Border, A Texas Ranger's Tale", with all the signatures of the current active Rangers in Texas. Well nedless to say, the author, a retired Ranger, Doyle Holdridge, also grew up in Rankin Tx. and had some very fond recollections of Sammy Long, since he was the DPS Trooper in that part of Texas. It seems that Officer Long was the type of man that took care of business, but went a long way to keep young boys growing up in Rankin and McCamey on the straight and narrow. I always ask the Rangers I have met in the past several years if they knew Sammy Long back then and every one of them either knew him or knew who he was. I think that says volumes about the DPS Trooper that I was only able to meet for just a very brief moment in the last year of his life.
So as we approach this Christmas Season of 2011, I feel very honored to have met you Officer Long, may you rest in peace and I know all of us still here on earth will look forward to meeting you again in heaven and I think you will probably be the Trooper that will once again give me some good and wholesome instruction how to find my way to heaven since you showed me where I started out. I look forward to seeing you again.
God bless and Merry Christmas.
Mr. Ray Baker
December 22, 2011
Your heroism and service is honored today, the 35th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.
I am grateful that the citizen who shot your killer was there and rendered justice while protecting others who may have come into contact with that murdrous thug. I hope he was properly rexcognized..he also saved your family from having to experience the ordeal of a trial.
I pray for solace for all those who love and miss you for I know both the pain and pride are forever.
Rest In Peace
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, PPD, eow 4/24/05
November 21, 2011
Sammy Long was such a big part of my growing up years in McCamey, and I absolutely adored him. Martha Long was one of my favorite teachers, and my class' sponsor for several years. I'll NEVER forget the day I got the phone call telling me of Sammy's death and the circumstances. Broke my heart!!! And, Traci, you were blessed with wonderful parents, and lost your dad way too soon!!!
Former McCamey resident
November 21, 2011
As Thanksgiving approaches I want to say Thank You for you service to all the citizens that you protected. I was just a teenage when I knew you. My Blessings to you and your wonderful wife, she was my teacher in High school. Rest in Peace Officer Long, I know your watching over us even now.
Thanks also to the deer hunter that took such fast action and removed the Scum that took Officer Long's life.
Former citizen of McCamey
November 21, 2011
He was always fair-minded, helpful, and dedicated to his duty.
February 6, 2011
Trooper Long, another of your troopers died yesterday and should be there with you as I write this passage. Please watch over all of us until we all meet again. The duty of the citizen that refused to allow that scum to live took action that saved all of your fellow troopers possibly meeting up with him again.You lived to protect your fellow citizen and it was a fellow citizen that came to your aid, altho it was after you had been struck and did what we all would have done had we been with you. We all wish we could have been with you that fateful day to have helped you. You will always be remembered and thank you for your service. God Bless you Trooper Long.
State Traffic Officer #7185 Mike Becze
California Highway Patrol
November 16, 2010
After all of these years you are still a part of our lives. Thank you for your support as I became an adult. Thank you to the deer hunter for not letting your killer get away. Thank you for being one of the angels watching over my kids. Thank you for wonderful memories.
June 5, 2010
On today, the 33rd anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Texas. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy. Thank god, that deer hunter was there to take care of that POS that killed you.
November 21, 2009
I was just a young teacher in McCamey at the time of Officer Long's death. We worked with his wife who was a teacher at McCamey ISD also. We all had great respect and admiration for Sammy. Although it has been many years now, I still think of Sammy and his sacrifice for all of us. He has not been forgotten. One day I will run into him again and will personally thank him. God bless all law enforcement officers and their families!
Retired Teacher-formerly with McCamey ISD
October 26, 2009
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1993 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission
Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC
March 3, 2008
Rest in peace Sir
Pat Van Den Berghe, Manchester, NH
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH
November 30, 2007
Patrolman Long, you have not been forgotten. Thank you to the watchful citizen that did not let your murderer escape!
Rest in peace.
Michelle - wife of Retired LEO
August 2, 2007
Merry Christmas Sammy, just stopped by to say even after 30 years, we have never forgotten you and your sacrifice. Heaven still sings for you Sammy, and tears still fall. Good bye Brother,,
Officer Scott Parker
Covington Texas Police Department
December 24, 2006
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