Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper Bobby Lee Coggins

North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina

End of Watch Saturday, September 14, 1985

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Reflections for Trooper Bobby Lee Coggins

"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



September 14, 2007

My prayers are with you and your family.

Former N.H. Police Officer
Fauquier County, VA

September 14, 2007

Trooper Bobby Lee Coggins still protects. I was born and raised in Asheville, so remember 1985. I left the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office to become an Enforcement Agent for the NC Department of Revenue. Today (22 Jan 07)we took a radio training course at the NCHP Training Center in Raleigh. I certainly didn't expect to hear Bobby's voice as part of the training. On the drive back to Wilmington, as I listened to the voices on my radio, I couldn't help but wonder how many other law enforcement officers had heard Bobby's voice. I wondered how many of them believe in guardian angels. Rest assured, Trooper Coggins still protects. God's Peace.

Enforcement Agent Deborah Crowder
NCDOR Unauthorized Substances Tax Divison, Wilmington, NC

January 22, 2007

My wife is Bobby's cousin. I, too, know the loss of having a cousin taken away too soon... Trooper Anthony Cogdill. I just want to let everyone know that the other evening, Jennifer, my wife, went to visit the memorial the Boy Scouts placed on Hwy. 209 for Bobby and found that someone had pried away the plaque and broke the stone. The memorial may be gone, but the memory is still there for her.

Sgt. J.L. Cogdill
NC Dept. of Corrections

October 22, 2006

May God give you rest. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten. And to the family and friends of Trooper Coggins and the North Carolina Highway Patrol may God watch over you.

Special Agent
FBI New York

September 18, 2006

May G-d Bless all the men and women who wear the Badge.

September 14, 2006

Just thought you'd like to know that while you've been enjoying Heaven for the past twenty years, that those two sorry excuses for humans are still rotting in their cells. Wish you were still with us though...

North Carolina Highway Patrol

August 17, 2006

Its been twenty years since you left us. I am now the age that you were when you were taken. I read about you in "Trooper Down" and many others. I knew I wanted to have a career in Law Enforcement ten years ago when I read that book for the first time. I have read it several times since. I remember hearing about you and at that age I felt so sad. Though I never knew you, I feel that this is really where I was influenced to step forward. In my time on the road I have had the chance to check in with a few of your fellow Troopers on several occasions to make sure they and many others go home at the end of their watch. I feel I owe it to you. Thank you for your dedication.
God Bless you and your family. Keep a watch out for us as we serve.

14Sept05 W861

Deputy Descourouez
Wake County Sheriffs Office

September 14, 2005

Though I never met Trooper Coggins, I learned much about him following his tragic death. I witnessed first hand the support and love he had generated throughout the community. His life, as so many other officers before him, was taken away much too soon. As was noted by a another...time passes and it never grows easier. I was there...tracking down the killers as were many. He was there also...keeping me safe from they (the murderers) attempted to bring harm to me and others with a stolen rifle. Thank you Bobby and family for your support in the difficult days and weeks that followed. Your kind words on a card have spoken to me throughout my carreer. I always stop...on a bridge in downtown Bryson City, NC and reflect on those tragic days. I look to the heavens to say thank you...Go with God...Until we meet...

Senior Insp DUSM Steve W Graves
US Marshals Service (former Burke Co D/S)

April 26, 2005

I never got to meet my cousin, for I was only 5 when he was killed, but I still miss him dearly. I know he's in a place where no man can ever harm him, there he keeps the angels safe. May he rest in peace forever and ever, amen.

Jennifer Byrd
Family Member

February 27, 2005

Rest easy with Saint Michael. Watch out over your brothers who put on a badge tonight.

LEO wife

February 21, 2005

The policeman stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, policeman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true?"

The policeman squared his shoulders and said,
"No lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry a badge
can't always be a saint."

I've had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was rough,
and sometimes I've been violent,
Because the streets are awfully tough.

But I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at time I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly,
For the judgement of his god.

"Step forward now, policeman,
You've born your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in hell"


December 9, 2004

Rest in peace buddy.
Gone but never forgotten.

SC Brad Taylor
Metropolitan Police (London)

August 18, 2004

Rest in peace trooper, we have the watch now.

Senior Trooper
Virginia State Police

September 14, 2003

God bless this fine officer and his family. The bad guys didn't get away and one day they will pay dearly. Thank you for your sacrifice Trooper Coggins you were and always will be an inspiration to all NC law enforcement officers.

Captain Scott Wright
Mount Holly Police Department, NC

After over 17 years later, this is still a heartbreaker:

I never actually knew Bobby but in a way I did. He was from Bryson City and stationed near Asheville in Hot Springs after Basic School. A year later, I being from Asheville was stationed near Bryson City after my class graduated.

The day he was killed his family was out of town in Clemson SC, while my family was also out of town at the at the Beach. The Asheville TV station reported a "rookie trooper" was shot and killed near Asheville, the name was being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin who were out of town. Alot of people thought I was the Trooper killed.

Bobby was one of three troopers murdered that year. When he stopped the car, he didn't know the old "signal-1" duress code for danger. When the dispatcher had to tell him they were wanted, he was assasinated. Becausee of his ant other deaths that year, officer survival-personal safety was beefed up on the SHP. Better late than never I guess.

As it turned out, I was on duty the day he was killed and heard the dispatcher talking to the civilian who found him in his patrol car. It borke my heart and made me sick. I went with the Dist. First Sgt. to tell his parents, James and Frances of the sad news. What a horrible task to have to go do, b/c there is nothing you can say or do to make it better. They are such nice and decent Christian people. It was heartbreaking.

I was on his honorguard and that was both rewarding and so sad. Everyone said what a fine young Christian gentleman Bobby was, how he loved people and was kind to everyone he met. His fiancee' Linda, was the last person to see him alive minutes before he was assasinated. She was so broken-hearted. His brother Barry is such a nice man.

Bray and Rios, the escaped convict creatures who did this to him both got life without hope of parole. They bragged about executing him wihle in jail and were overheard by a jailer.

They got alot better deal than Bobby did. What a sad waste, a good and bright young life cut short.

He now patrols the highways of Heaven with St. Michael. BE safe out there and God Bless the Coggins' family, his fellow troopers and all of the family of the badge.

Be safe.

Chief JA Millan
(former NC Trooper G-655, Bryson City)

Chief JA Millan
NC Public Schools, Avery Dist. SP

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