Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper Randall Wade Vetter

Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol, Texas

End of Watch Monday, August 7, 2000

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Reflections for Trooper Randall Wade Vetter

To Trooper Vetter's loving wife, Cynthia:  I was Randy's friend long before you and I met.  I am sorry we could not have met before this tragic event.  I want you to know that you and your son will always be a part of my family and the DPS family.  You are an amazing woman, I admire you and love you as a dear friend.  Robert will know his father because so many people will continue to share their stories and memories of Randy.  He may not be with you here on Earth, but take comfort in the knowledge that Randy is watching over you and Robert.  My love and protection will always be available to your family.  Thank you for loving and supporting someone who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Becky Gentry
Texas Department of Public Safety

This article is dedicated to Trooper Randall Vetter and all law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

         "Greater love hath no man than he  who lays down his life for another"

Each morning when we go to our jobs, we don't expect to be killed in the performance of our duties.  We can pretty much expect that we will return home to our families at the end of the day.  Imagine then having a job where just the opposite is true.  You're at work, talking with co-workers, then in a split-second you must make a life and death decision that could affect not only your life, but the life of others as well.  A whole career will be critiqued on that one decision.  A job you once loved may never be the same again.

Police officers must enforce the laws that our government makes.  The problem is that "we the people" have a double set of standards, enforce the laws for others, but don't pick on me.  Police officers are criticized by our society for "excessive use of force" yet at times it becomes necessary - not only to protect themselves, but also protect the lives of that same society that criticizes them.

Police Officers are among those professions with a high rate of divorce, alcoholism, and sucide.  They see the worst of our society while responding to calls of domestic violence, homicide, assaults, stabbings, suicides, and child abuse.  They deal with drunks, murders, rapists, and drug dealers.  Imagine taking that type of baggage home with you.  A police officer must mask his emotions.  After all, he can't have people thinking he is "soft" or "weak" and unable to perform his job, so he hides the pain.

Working in all types of weather, a police officer must sometimes work seven days a week, pulling 10 to 12 hour shifts at a time.  When they do have time off, it isn't always theirs to enjoy.  There are court appearances, training classes to attend, special duty assignments, and the off-duty jobs some officers must work just to get by.  The job of a police officer is not just to "serve and protect."  They must be educators, referees, and sometimes social workers.  They give directions, change tires, cradle children, administer first aid, and comfort the elderly.  Police officers are spit on, cursed at, assaulted, and all too often killed while trying to make our cities and streets a safer place to live.  All of this - In The Line of Duty.

Marilyn Moller
TX Department of Public Safety

As a non-LEO in Austin, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Randy, and all of the other DPS Troopers.  You do a job that I do not do....  Although part of me wishies that I was part of your team.  In a way I am, I guess.

To the DPS - You are my friends, although you do not know it.

To Randy - You gave your live for me, although you did not know it.

To the DPS troopers, when someone says "thanks" be sure that it speaks for many of us.

To Randy - I just wish that I could have met you, and said thanks.

Maybe next time.…

Concerned Citizen

May God bless Trooper Vetter and his family.  His loss is one felt by all his brothers and sister across this country.  There but for the grace of God go I...Rest in peace.P>
He left us a gift... For all of us to remember what happened... Be careful out there! I post this for all in his honor...


We answered the calls just as they’d come

A man with a knife, two more with a gun

Fights that broke out in back alleys and bars

Chasing down felons in fresh stolen cars

My partner and I were always ready for hell

We watched each others’ back, we did it quite well

We’ve been shot at and missed by thugs selling rocks

We’ve been battered from rooftops with garbage and blocks

The word on the street was we’d take no guff

The skells would say we were fair but damn tough

Yup, ready for anything I always said

Never surprised until I learned he was dead

See my partner worked overtime he needed more pay

He had two little boys and a girl on the way

No it wasn’t a robbery or a felon on the run

He just stopped a kid, to say be careful, have fun

But the kid on the bike was high on cocaine

Now my partner lay dead, a bullet in his brain.

I miss him real bad, he thought just like me

When I’m walking my beat, his face I still see

Every call he is with me, still watching my back

His voice reminds me, don’t ever slack

Take nothing for granted, keep on your toes

Cause, when’s YOUR shift end?  One never knows.

One Never Knows

Copyright 2000 Marc Turner

Sgt. Marc Turner
Roxbury Twp. NJ

May God bless all such good men and their families.  The loss of any officer is tragedy beyond measure.  I want to thank the family of this brave officer who was doing his best to keep this world a safer place.  The best to all of you.

Brad Kirk

Those of us that worked with Randy all wish that we could have been there to change the outcome of what occurred that faithful day, but unfortunately we could not be. A lot of us have struggled with the loss of "one of our own" and share in the pain with the Vetter family. Randy will never be forgotten and will live on in our memories forever. To Cynthia and little Robert we can only pray that God will watch over you and bless you and to let you know that time will help to ease the pain of such a tragic loss. The outpouring of support from Law Enforcement from around the State and Country shows you that Randy had family that you never knew. God Bless.


May God be with you and your family and may his comfort and love surround you in your in your time need. 


Every day we as Troopers, Officers and Deputies go and out and do our best to protect and serve. But, if you ask any Peace Officer what he looks forward to everyday it's the thought of making it home safely to their family. It's a senseless way that we are reminded that what we love to do so much can take us away from who we love so quick. My thoughts and prayers are with Trooper Vetter's family and friends.

Ryan Mikulec
Victoria County Sheriff's Office



My heart is heavy for Trooper Vetter's wife, child and family.  He was doing a job that few of us would have.  Law Enforcement is a calling.  Many boys grow up in Texas dreaming of being a Texas Highway Patrolman.  The reality of it is that everyone can not.  Only the very best are allowed to become a member of the premier law enforcement agency in the world.  I tried to explain to my 16 year old son why something like this happens.  I don't think I did a very good job because I don't know either.  What i do know is that his death has saddened a lot of people, people that i know that are not associated with law enforcement.  We can only say thanks and hope you realize that a lot of people are very sensitive to what you guys have to deal with out there.  Your presence is the only way i can stand to see my son drive away from home.


Once again we are reminded just how dangerous our jobs are. A "seat-belt" ticket...and old man...who would have thought how dangerous this could have turned out to be?  To Randy: May your death not be in vain.  Hopefully the rest of us will be reminded that we should never take things for granted and to always be careful.  To Randy's family:  I attended Randy's funeral, along with about 2000 of my "brothers and sisters". We were there for you, so that you would know that even those of us who had never met Randy still loved him as family.  Nothing will ever replace Randy, only time will ease the pain of his loss. I pray that God watches over you forever.

Sgt Howard L. Hawbaker
Hidalgo Co. (TX) S.O.





Randy....your spirit lives on in all of us. Thank you for your help and being an example to us all. God bless your family. I still remember them in my prayers.

C. Jacobs
Comal County Sheriff's Office

Rest easy and God Bless, Troop. We will continue and never forget you.

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

It has been a year since you have fallen Officer Vetter and not a day goes by that you are not thought of along with all the others whose company you keep. As an Austin resident and family survivor, i know what it is to remember the fallen. You are in Heaven walking a beat that is held by only an elite few. May God watch over your family Officer Vetter. Rest in Peace.

Though Trooper Vetter was only in Hays CO. a short while before his untimely death, his sacrifice has affected all local officers on a very personal level. This pain was only made worse by the potential juror's unwillingness to prescribe the maximum penalty for the murderer's heinous act simply because of his age.

I just want as many officer's around the country to know that while many citizens do not seem to appreciate the job that we do and the risks that we take daily, that there are still many who do. You may not be aware that actor/musician Russell Crowe made a SUBSTANTIAL donation to Trooper Vetter's widow and child. His contribution was unsolicited and made w/o any publicity. He simply read an article in the paper while in Austin, and mailed a check made out to Mrs. Vetter to DPS Headquarters. So while many in the entertainment industry and the public are supporting copkillers, there are still those such as Mr. Crowe who do respect what we do and share in our mourning for lost brothers and sisters who wear the badge.


Hey Buddy, You know I miss you, it's been a while now and I will always remember the fun we had together, even if it was for a short while. I kinda feel lost sometimes, without you, especially when I work a serious motor vehicle accident, you were the best, and I still brag about you today. I still think about what you told me the night I called you to wish you good luck on the promo board. You said "it's ok, if I don't get promoted this time; I'm starting to enjoy Highway Patrol again". I hope that's because, Sgt. and I made you feel welcome, here in San Marcos. Hey Robert is getting big now, and we still think about you everytime we see him, Cynthia sent us a picture of him, and we have him posted on our fridge. He's the best.
Buddy, someday we'll meet again, and maybe when we do, you can take me out to all the restaurants, that give discounts to Police Officer's. I know me and you can keep people in line, up there in Heaven. Take care, you lucky dog. Make sure the Good Lord knows, that you are a "TEXAS HIGHWAY PATROLMAN" and you will never let him down.

Trooper JJ Gutierrez
Texas Dept. of Public Safety

Randy, you will be missed but not forgotten. Your honor rides with every day and every call. God Speed Brother

Deputy Erik Clark
Comal County Sheriff's Office

To family and friends of Trooper Vetter: My name is Christian Browne, I am a Police Officer of 10yrs working in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I ordered a memorial wristband from a law enforcement magazine in 12-00. I am wearing the wristband remembering Trooper Vetter. I wear it 24 hours a day and people constantly ask me what I'm wearing on my wrist. I tell all of them the little I know about Trooper Vetter. I think of Trooper Vetter often even though I didn't know him. Please know that Trooper Vetter's name is spoken with the utmost respect fairly often up here in Pennsylvania. I'm sorry for your loss.

Patrolman Christian Browne
Hilltown Township Police Dept.

I can't believe that it has been a year. It seems like last week. Randy, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I see the scene as it was that day every time I make the 210 turnaround. Know, brother, that we just keep on keeping on and holding the line. It is so unfair that we (& especially Robert and Cynthia) have to wait to join you in Heaven to see or speak with you again while your assailant still comparatively "languishes" in the HCLEC at our (taxpayers) expense able to visit with his family almost at will. Trust that he will get his due and I don't believe that you will be seeing him on the other side. Know also brother that we are here for your family. Cynthia and Robert, know that I mourn with you and that Randy was a true hero.

An officer who was there
San Marcos,Tx PD

Trooper Vetter, your watch is over and our department salutes you and your tour. May you watch over the gates of heaven, as you watched over the citizens of Texas.

Deputy J. Allen
Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department, Texas

i had just started attending the police academy when Trooper Vetter was killed. as an aspiring law enforcement officer, myself as well as fellow classmates and instructors were all quite disturbed by the incident. Trooper Vetter's death was mourned by all nationwide, and especially by those of us who have made the choice to go out on a daily basis and put our lives on the line for the safety and protection of others. Trooper Vetter died in the line of duty, trying to protect another's life, and instead lost his at the hands of the very man which he was trying to protect. many people think that LEO's are just here to bring money into the city or county or state by which they are employed, but that is not the case. therefore, i leave this note to pay my respects to a man who died performing the most honorable of duties. i wish the very best to his family, i know this is difficult for you, but hope it will give you strength knowing that the Lord above is with you and watching down upon you as well as your beloved Randall Wade Vetter.

Leslie Lehmann

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