Deputy Sheriff Lester Dewayne Tatum

Deputy Sheriff Lester Dewayne Tatum

Trinity County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Wednesday, December 28, 2005

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Lester Dewayne Tatum

Deputy Sheriff Lester Tatum was killed in a vehicle crash while responding to a burglary in progress call.

The reporting party told the 911 operator that weapons were involved and a woman was alone with two young children.

Deputy Tatum left Groveton for Carlisle with his lights and his siren activated, heading south on FM 355. As he entered a right-hand curve near Old Onalaska Road, his squad car left the road on the left-hand side. The car struck several pine trees and the engine compartment caught fire. The fire was put out by members of the Groveton Volunteer Fire Department. Deputy Tatum died at the scene.

Deputy Tatum was the canine handler for Trinity County and had served with the agency for only seven months. He had previously served with the Polk County Precinct 1 Constable's Office and had a total of 15 years of law enforcement service.

Deputy Tatum is survived by his wife, two daughters, parents, and two grandchildren.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge 404

Incident Details

  • Cause Automobile crash

Most Recent Reflection

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I turned 30 this month. You would have laughed at how silly I've taken the whole "30" thing. I have three of the most beautiful boys; Les, Jude and your Lliam. I named Les after you. He has our smile and his father's big mouth! (not mine which is pretty big)
I work hard and I do everything and anything to support my family. I've grown hard as nails....I'm a survivor in every essence of the term. I still carry the easy going heart and spirit but it wrapped tightly under barbed wire. LOL. You'd be proud of the woman I've grown into, even if it means keeping my distance from the family. I can say i have grown to not like many of them. Don't get me wrong i love them but I've had to distance myself and in doing so I'm the happiest I've been in a while. No judgement, no drama, nothing...just me, work, the kids, mamaw and the world I've built for them. Oh I moved my grandmother in with us. I won't disclose the details because you already know why. My only regret is not buying a bigger house! I love her staying with us; it's a blessing. Like you, my kids are my life and providing for them is everything.
Today I miss you
as much as I did 7 years ago.
I found out that mom is seeing someone else...which inside make me feel like a child, a stubborn child, but in reality I know it's good for her and it's the best thing to happen to her in years.
I promise you that none of my children call anyone but you grandpa and there will be no "step" anything. The idea is too bizarre and I'm to old.LOL
I teach my boys about you, so they know who you are no matter what.
I believe that i inherited your innate kindness and it's my favorite quality because every time someone brings it up I am honored because you were a shining example of human kindness.
Time doesn't take away the pain of you not being here. Did you know our family fell apart after you left?
Oh shit Dad... If i could just see you one last time. Despite who I've grown into I'm still your little girl and would do anything for one of your hugs.
I think about that night more than I should I suppose. I guess you know that there are a few theories about your accident and what/who might have caused it. And if those stories were true I'd kill for what they took away from this family and this community. I remember everything about that day...all in vivid snapshots posted on the wall of memories that define who I am.
Oh daddy.. i would kill for you to knock on my door at 6 or 7 a.m.
You told me over and over again..' "that you only live once"
Well Daddy, I make sure I do the best I can. As you know life is tough and I do my best and I'm happy. Know that I'm happy and in all honesty I only have ONE regret.
No turning right instead of left that day, because I didn't want to disrupt you working on the house...So after picking up Lliam from Pam's house I decided to go home instead of distract you. Because i knew mom would get mad at you. So i went home with Lliam, got dressed and we went to my (then) mother in law's house....where at about 8 p.m. I got the call that changed my life. I love you where ever you are.

Rebekah Parker/Clark
Daughter (oldest)

December 29, 2012

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