Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper Mark Hunter Coates

South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina

End of Watch Friday, November 20, 1992

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Trooper Mark Hunter Coates

It was a Sunday morning a couple of years ago and our shift briefing was about to begin. I saw a training video on the table so I put it in the VCR. My squad mates and I watched the video and I realized I had seen it before. You could have heard a pin drop on the carpet when the video ended. My Sgt. simply said, "please be safe", as we headed out to patrol the city. We all became a little closer that day and we realized how fast it can all end. I can't watch the video without shedding a tear and wishing I had been there to back you up. God Bless you and your family.

L Phillips
CSPD, Texas

December 9, 2004

Rest easy, Brother. You are not forgotten.

Michigan State Police

December 4, 2004

Trooper Coates a very brave police officer who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect his community. God bless you and your family, friends, fellow police officers. You are a hero and you will never be forgotten.

December 3, 2004

Mark, on this the 12th anniversary of your murder, we all honor you . . . as we always do. I continue to talk to you as I pass the location of your murder on Interstate 95. I hope you hear me. Rest easy Mark. With brotherly love and utmost respect, Jim Crotty (Former Richmond, VA Police Officer.)

Jim Crotty Special Agent (Ret.)
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms

November 20, 2004

While attending a drug interdiction course this week I, Like many others, watched in horror as this brave soldier fought his last battle. I prayed for for his family and co-workers as I did my best to fight back the tears. Words alone cannot express the many emotions I felt during this brief look into a fellow officers worst nightmare.

Having also read many reflections left for Officer Robbie Bishop, I would like pass on this little message that I found. I have adopted this saying and carry it with me in my cruiser as a remembrance of those who payed the ultimate price.

(If you want peace, prepare for war)

Sgt. Larry Covey
LafayetteTwp. Police

November 18, 2004

I have watched the film of what happen to you in the police academy that I am in now. My classmates and I thank you for your service and bravery. You will always be missed and never forgotten. Always walk with us in spirit. God bless you!

TSgt Jeffrey Outlar
U.S.Air Force

October 28, 2004

I was a rookie when I saw the video,
of the horrible night that you fell.
I remember fighting back tears
as my throat began to swell.

I remember making you a promise
to pursue the fight that you fought,
and to provide the gift of Peace
that by your very life was bought.

Each day as I prepare for work
and pull my body armor tight,
I remember Trooper Mark Coates
who gave all that he had that night.

A Brother in Blue.

Patrolman Argeropoulos
Paola Police Department

October 28, 2004

The video to this tragedy is almost too much for words. My sympathy and prayers go out to Trooper Coates' family and friends.

Ofc. Jonathan F. Esposito
Lighthouse Point Police Dept., FL

October 28, 2004

Mark, Thank you for saving my life and many others.

Ptl CC McQueen

October 21, 2004

I would like to leave my condolences to all that loved Mark. I often drive I-95 during business trips, and say a prayer for you and Mark. I would like you all to know that his death was not in vein. Many police officers and Marines have learned from his tragic death, and I assure you, it has saved others lives. Mark's bravery is not forgotten. Semper Fidleis, Dave

fmr SSgt David J. Nawrocki

October 3, 2004

I salute you for your service and honor you for your sacrifice.

A hero never dies.....

Rest in peace, hero. God bless.

September 29, 2004

Your legacy lives on. Just like many other Law Enforcement professionals that have watched the video, there was nothing but silence for 10 minutes after the video ended. I thank you, Trooper Coates, for I remember you everyday before I go out on patrol. God Bless your family.

Officer II J. Pacheco
MD Transportation Authority Police Dept

September 29, 2004

To Trooper Coates and family. I have read many of the messages and mine is similar. I cannot remember the last time that I shed a tear up until I watched the video as a training aid in the academy. I wanted so badly to be there at his side fighting with him. It tore me up emotionally to a degree that I have never experienced. I was furious and at the same time as helpless as a baby because there was nothing I could do. Through all of the negative I found positive. Trooper Coates' tragedy reminded me that nothing is EVER routine and that things can turn from ok to a nightmare in the course of one second. When Trooper Coates went to the ground with the suspect I did not see one ounce of quit in him. He never gave up. This reinforced to me that, "it ain't over till its over, fight to the end." Trooper Coates, sir, you did not die in vain, my entire class learned from your experience. Another person that I would like to mention and the only thing that I remember is that he was an African-American Trooper whose name was "Jake" that was the first assist officer on the scene. Sir from what I saw on that video your actions in helping Trooper Coates were amazing. It felt great watching you arrive on scene and take control of such a horrible situation as best you could. You did not falter or hesistate. God Bless You sir. This message to the coward that ended the life of a hero. To the coward that could not face his wrongs like a man. Good Riddance.

"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Sons of God."

Matthew 5:9

Andrew Young, Police Academy Graduate 16
Weatherford Coll Law Enforcement Academy, Weatherford, Texas

September 18, 2004

To the family of Trooper Coates. Before each shift begins, I watch the horrible events of that tragic night. That memory stays with me the entire shift. Trooper Coates in his death has saved my life on numerous occassions. Even in eternal rest, his lesson continues. Thank You my brother. Watch over all of us.

Butlet County Sheriff

September 6, 2004

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"


August 23, 2004



August 11, 2004

Rest in Peace, you continue to train all of your brothers and sisters in lawenforcement. You are a true HERO; God Bless you and your family.

Trooper V. Ortalano
PA State Police

August 6, 2004

Recently I viewed your video of your tragic death. As an explorer I am learning how to handle a "routine" traffic stop but there is no such thing as a "routine" stop. With the new STOPS program this hopefully will prevent another officer being killed in the line of duty. Thanks you Trooper Coates.

Explorer Lieutenant
Louisville Metro Police Dept.

August 5, 2004

Just recently in my mandate class we viewed the video of Trooper Coates making his fatal traffic stop. There are eleven other recruits in the class, and after the video there was not one person whose mouth wasn't to the floor. We were shocked, scared, grievened, and angry at the same time. Our reason for viewing the video was for educational purposes, but for the rest of the day it was all we could talk about. God Bless the family of Trooper Coates and their loss; the law enforcement of this nation does not get the respect they deserve, and I know that Coates' tragic death will not be forgotten, nor be in vain. God Bless.

Recruit K.W. Haynes
Cobb County Police Department, GA

August 4, 2004

Trooper Coates your death was untimly and cold. Even through your death was sad and untimly you have save so many lives, You are a hero and will always be remembered as a hero. Law Enforcement is a thankless and unforgiving Job that we accept and love. In this life we know that God gives and God takes and we don't always understand, but even in this darkness we know God has a plan known only to him. I have seen your video and I have to say you've helped saved my life by give yours so unselfishy, for that my brother I am grateful. To the Family of Trooper Coates every one of his brothers and sisters in Law Enforcement will remember him every day forever he is a Hero and will Never be forgotten. Walk Talk Brother as you patrol the new Beat that God himself has assigned you. Sempi Fi Brother once a Marine always a Marine. Gone but Never Forgotten. Rest in peace my brother and you will always be one of our many Heros.

Federal Police Officer Phillip Reid
Veterans Affairs Police Dept KY

June 12, 2004

Trooper Mark Coates, Brother, I first met you by your video that was shown by S.A. Jim Crotty (RET.)of the ATF in 1995 in Athens, AL. It had changed my way of training and mental preparation for patrolling. You have done so much for me and hundreds of other officers since your death. You are still working in the thin blue line by training all of us. You have been working hard for the past 12 years and I and all the other men and women in the law enforcement family say thank you, Thank You Mark for a job well done.
You will always live on in our hearts and our minds.

Patrolman Sam Decker
Hokes Bluff PD , Hokes Bluff, AL

June 9, 2004

As a rookie trooper, I was honored to have attended Mark's funeral, along with many other Georgia Troopers. That was almost 12 years ago. How many of us will ever be able to say that we saved hundreds of lives AFTER we have given our own life? God Bless you, Mark. You are not forgotten, brother...

SFC A.P. Carrier #441
Georgia State Patrol

June 5, 2004

Tpr. Coates, your tragic death has saved untold numbers of other officers.... your video reminds us all that no matter how well trained you are you still have to be ready for the unknown..... One Trooper to another, thank you Mark

Kentucky State Police

May 26, 2004

To Mark's family THANK YOU. When I was old enough I joined the Marine Corps and people would ask "why do you want to be a marine" and I would reply, for all of those who have served befor me. Now that I'm a cop people ask "why do you want to be a cop" and the answer has not changed, for Trooper Coates and all the other law enforcment officers who are serving or have served. Semper fi!

Police officer
Gwinnett County P.D.

May 8, 2004

your video really moved me. your great bravery will not go forgotten. i honor your bravery. god bless your family and friends.

officer jason alexander
kingston police dept.

April 29, 2004

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