Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper William Joseph Starling

North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina

End of Watch Monday, July 20, 1998

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Trooper William Joseph Starling

Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 20, 2020

Trooper Starling,
On today, the 21st anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of North Carolina. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

July 20, 2019

Rest in peace Trooper Starling.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

April 18, 2019

1 Apr 2014

Tonight I learned of a car accident in Wilkes that claimed the lives of two students of my alma mater, North Wilkes High School. My heart goes out to those families. This is yet another very sad loss for them and the community.

I am reminded tonight however of Trooper Starling, and the lessons he taught me during just one meeting. I am very grateful for the speeding ticket he wrote me when I was in my senior year at NWHS. The ticket and his later death (along the same road I earned my ticket on) taught me multiple life lessons which have stayed with me all these years.

To the family of Trooper Starling: my sincerest condolences for your loss. Though I only met him once - I have thought of him many times over the years. Having found this page tonight, I felt obliged to share the story with you.

The first time I saw your father he was parked along a wood line; I passed by doing about 75mph and I just saw him out of the corner of my eye! He caught up to me some distance later, and pulled me over. I watched in my rearview & side mirror as he exited his patrol car, then with a superhero-like stature stepped in the road and directed two of my classmates (who had been on my bumper as we passed the Radar) to pull over. We each received speeding tickets …three of us! … Tickets we well deserved. Many other students on their way to school saw the epic three-car traffic stop made by one trooper that morning. I have no doubt Trooper Starling saved lives out of the Class of 1998!

His professionalism and fairness, and the lesson he taught me that morning about the foolishness of my speeding has stayed with me all these years. It remains my only speeding ticket.

We lost a fine man, a fine trooper in Trooper William J. Starling.

Know, he is not forgotten.

Master Sergeant Jimmy L. Blevins Jr.
USAF, Active

April 1, 2014

You have not been forgotten. Thank you for your dedicated service to others. You are a true hero and heroes never die.

Bob Gordon, Ret. Asst. Chief
Father of Fallen Chicago Officer: Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

July 20, 2012

I knew Joey while he was stationed in Wilkes County. He was a great Trooper, a great friend and a great Christian Man. We had great talks while working and He inspired me. I miss him greatly and think of him everyday. He was a true man of GOD and loved to witness to everyone of GOD's love. Thank you for touching my life my friend.

Ptl. Donald Hunt
Retired Police officer North Wilkesboro Police Dept.

June 3, 2011

Trooper Starling, Thank you for your service. God bless you and your family.

SSA Ellen Pierson

September 29, 2010

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 12th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service to my home state and the birthplace of my son. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace.

I pray for solace for all those who love and miss you for I know both the pain and pride are forever.

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

July 20, 2010

Thinking of you and all of your loved ones on this day. Contiune to keep watch over all of them and also those still out on patrol. You have not been forgotten as you are a true hero and heroes never die.

Bob Gordon
Father of Chicago Officer: Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

July 20, 2010

Your EOW was 10 years ago today. The saddest day was the day you left, but
the happiest day was the day you were united with Jesus, your Lord and Savior.
Hard to understand why you were taken so soon leaving kids that still needed
you, but what an amazing testimony you left behind. It will be a joy to meet
you in the next life since I didn't have the pleasure of knowing you here.
Thanks for loving and serving the Lord. We don't have to wonder where you are.
Lynn Kole
Bellingham, WA


July 20, 2008

Logan, your father was a "cut above". I was blessed to meet him while stationed in Troop F. Let your light shine just as he did.
God Bless

Trooper R.B. Grayson

February 18, 2008

"The Badge"

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.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

December 27, 2007



July 20, 2007

My thoughts and prayers to the family, friends and co-workers of Trooper Starling on the anniversary of his passing. May god continue to comfort you all.
Heros are never forgotten. Rest in peace.

911 Dispatcher

July 20, 2007



June 29, 2007

Thank You for your years of service (you are a true hero).
The citizens of North Carolina should be VERY PROUD to have you protecting and serving them on the streets and highways of the great state of North Carolina. We will always remember of fallen brothers.
Thank You !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cpl.J.W.Lowder, Union County Sheriff's Department

Cpl. J.W. Lowder
Union County Sheriff's Department

May 14, 2007

Not a day goes by that you aren't in my mind. My only goal in life is to be half the man everyone knew you to be. I'd give anything to have you back, and can only say, "Thank You" for being the greatest father in the world. Your kids still miss you, greatly. I can only hope when you look down, you aren't too disappointed in me. I'll love you and miss you always.

Logan Starling
Youngest Son

March 28, 2007

I remember the first time i met Joey was with my cousion Trp. Richard Miles who was training Joey at that time. He was a great person right from the start, he did not know a stranger, words that I write will not begain to do justice for Joey, we were friends for several years, and I lost a great, great friend. I worked accidents and special assingments with him and he was as good a officer as he was a person. Joey you are still thought of and are missed very much......

Former Officer W.D. Miles
NC DMV Enforcement

June 28, 2006

May God continue to grant you eternal peace, and bring comfort and peace to your loved ones.

January 25, 2005

Joey, we still think of you often. The bridge dedicated in your honor on US421 in Wilkes County reminds us of what a special person you were. Rest in peace........

Trooper J.R. Fleming
NC Highway Patrol

December 21, 2004

The last time i saw you alive was when I was in North Wilkesboro at Wilkes General Hospital. You were there invesitgating a wreck and I was there with my daughter. The last thing we said to each other was stay safe out there. A few weeks later you were laid to rest and honored by your fellow officers, friends and family. I think about that last conversation often and thank God that I was able to talk to you one last time. you were a truly nice and god fearing person. Rest in peace brother and god bless.

Metro Special Police

October 1, 2004

Joey was not only a outstanding officer, he was a fine Christian man. He led a lot of people that he came in contact with to the Lord. I will never forget a time in the jail in Wilkesboro, I was a Detective for the Sheriff's Department there and Joey had just arrested a man from Texas who was driving without a license along with a few other charges. Joey had already finished his paperwork and was getting ready to leave when the guy he arrested asked me if I knew "that Trooper who arrested me" I told him that I did know him and he said, "I think that man knows God personally". He then asked if I would have "that Trooper" come over to the holding cell again. I said sure. WOW... Joey led that guy to the Lord right there in the holding cell. What a wonderful testimony. Joey, I miss you brother, but I know I will see you in heaven. For you reading this reflection, I know that Joey is in the presence of the Lord right now.

Officer Bob Benfield
Catawba County Sheriff's Department

Rest easy, Troop. Your time here finished, please help to protect those who continue. God bless you and your family. The world has lost yet another hero. You will not be forgotten.

Deputy M. Moore
Warren County S.O. (OH)

I knew Joey from Basic School in 85, and my 2 years as a trooper. Though I didn't know him well personally, I did know of how well he was regarded in the Wilkes County community and in the field. He was a fine Christian family man and a dedicated, honest officer. He will be greatly missed.

The Old North North State lost one of its finest when Joey was called home.

He now patrols the highways of Heaven with St, Michael. God Bless and be safe.

Cheif JA Millan
NC Public Schools Law Enforcement, Avery Dist.

It is with my heartfelt condolences that I pay my respects to this trooper and his family. We all lost a brave soul that summer day. It truly sounds to me, that he would've been a pleasure to know.

NC resident

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