20 Years Later – Their Sacrifice Will Never Be Forgotten
By Office of Communication
Posted on October 10, 2012, October 10, 2012

Police officers, firefighters, dispatchers and families came together today to remember two Arlington police officers who died in a deadly crash 20 years ago, while serving and protecting the community. On October 9, 1992, Arlington Police Officers Terry Lynn Lewis and Jerry J. Crocker had just wrapped a call assisting the victim of a hit and run crash, when their patrol car was broadsided by a driver, who was later determined to be intoxicated at the time of the crash. Today and every day, Terry and Jerry are remembered for their tremendous sacrifice.

Twenty years later donated signs mark the location in the 2700 block of N. Collins Street, where the crash occurred. In a tradition that began last year, the Arlington Police Association and Arlington Police Department partner to make sure the memory of the officers who died in the line of duty are recognized on their "end of watch" date. Each year a donated wreath is placed at a location selected by the deceased officers' families. The families of Terry and Jerry selected the crash location. For the families, tears still come easily with the memory of that night that changed all of their lives, said Jeri Lyn Nichols, daughter of Jerry Crocker.

"We have our ups and downs, but we are all family," said Jeri, who is an Arlington dispatch supervisor and has worked for the city for 16 years. "I usually do not work on this night [anniversary of her father's death], but this year I did. At midnight as I am taking a break, I started getting text messages. People would say, "We are thinking about you.' They never forget," she said.

In recognition of 20 years since the deaths of Officers Terry Lewis and Jerry Crocker, the Arlington Police Department hosted an informal ceremony in the Training Center gym where many of Terry's classmates told stories of their days together in that same building.

Arlington Police Association President Officer Randle Meadows opened the remembrance ceremony by taking off his badge and gun belt to remind many of the officers in the room how they looked as training recruits before they completed the police academy. Officer Meadows and Officer Terry Lewis were both in Class #2 and graduated to become officers in January 1992, just 9 months before the deadly crash.

"Most of my memories of Terry are here [at the training center] and this is what we looked like. We weren't lucky enough to have those badges yet," said Randle as he pointed to the badge on a nearby officer's uniform. "Terry and Jerry will always be a part of this place, a part of the fabric of this department. Twenty years from now we'll all be gone, but we will remember Jerry and Terry."

Retired Sergeant Don Pilcher was the president of Class #2 and recalled how much both Terry and Jerry enjoyed telling a good story. He said they loved to talk and are both probably patrolling the streets of heaven while talking to everyone they come across.

Acting Police Chief Will Johnson told the family and friends gathered that he looks back to see how far the department has come since that day. The community and citywide support was remarkable. That external support system combined with the families of Terry and Jerry being essentially adopted by the APD police family became the standard for all other department losses that followed.

During the ceremony, Chief Johnson turned to the families of Terry and Jerry, who were surrounded by officers, dispatchers and firefighters during the ceremony, and reiterated that the department recognizes the sacrifice of the two officers.

"You are our family," he said. "Know that we remember. We will never forget, and we love you."

By Arlington Police Office of Communication

Their Sacrifice

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