Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff William Thomas Land

Durham County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Tuesday, October 5, 1971

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Deputy Sheriff William Thomas Land

I'm sorry for all of the life you were cheated from, for having chosen to serve your community and our profession. I am however proud and honored to be included in the profession you helped shape by your fidelity to duty, no matter the brief period of time. Your service is an illustration that quality always trumps quantity. You and your life are remembered today...and you and your life are appreciated.

NC Officer

October 5, 2023

October 5th is a particularly dark day for North Carolina law enforcement. ODMP cites seven who gave their all for the Tarheel state on this day of the year. All seven of you share not just an end of watch date, but a fidelity to service. The fabric of our profession was strengthened by the contributions you made, and weakened by your loss.

NC Officer

October 5, 2022

Tommy -- Your sacrifice is well-remembered -- as is your treasured friendship, and that of your fine family as well. You are greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing you, and your slaying at the hands of an uncaring felon was indeed a tragedy that will not be forgotten. Requiescat in Pace .

R.W. Miller, Assoc. Commissioner (Ret)
U.S. Customs Service, Dept. of the Treasury

May 15, 2021

While your sacrifice ultimately found no real justice, I hope you derive some measure of comfort in knowing your young life and short service continue to be appreciated by those of us in the law enforcement profession. You DID...and DO matter. Thanks.

NC Officer

October 5, 2020

I visited your page again today and was incensed to read that even though your murderer was sentenced to 115 years, he was released in 1993 after serving only 22 years. That is such a travesty of justice and must have been such a bitter blow to your family. You are not forgotten and always honored.

Phyllis Lasater Loya
mom of fallen Pittsburg Officer Larry Lasater, eow 4/24/05

July 29, 2018

I had attended high school with Tommy where we drove school buses. The day he was killed I was in rookie school training to be a police officer. His death changed forever the way officers responded to bank alarms - from routine annoyance to actual robberies. My law enforcement career spanned another 30 years until my retirement in 2001 and hardly a day passed by when I wasn't reminded of Tommy Land. The other deputy who was with Tommy on that day later came to work for my agency and is now too deceased. While tragic was Tommy's death, I am confident that other lives have been spared by the experience of these two fine officers.

Deputy Chief Kent Fletcher (retired)
Durham NC Police Department

January 22, 2014

Tommy, it has been a long time since your death and there a lot of us who will never forget your sacrifice. Thank you for your service in Vietnam and with the Durham County Sheriffs Dept. You are a true hero. Rest in peace my friend.

Sgt. McLean
A thankful citizen...

January 6, 2013

You are remembered today by another Durham native and the mother of a fallen officer. My son, Larry Lasater who was also born in Durham, died when shot on April 23, 2005 during. a foot pursuit of two bank robbers. Your sacrifice is not forgotten. Rest in Peace, Deputy Land. Your memory is honored and revered 38 years after your death and will continue to be.

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

March 2, 2009

"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 26, 2007

You aare remember today and thank you young Sir for your service.

this writer is most disappointed that a term in prison for 115 years was reduced to 38 years. I am very sorry that justice was not appropriately served for your ultimate sacrifice.

Pat Van Den Berghe

October 14, 2007



October 5, 2007

May you rest in Peace.

October 5, 2006

On the anniversary of your death, I salute you for your service and honor you for your sacrifice.

A hero never dies....

God bless, hero. Rest in peace.

A grateful citizen.

October 5, 2004

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