Fallen deputy remembered 63 years later


ODESSA, Texas (ABC Big 2/FOX 24) – Saturday marks 63 years since an Ector County Sheriff’s Deputy was killed on the line of duty.

The Sheriff’s Office said not a lot of people in Ector County know about Deputy Thad West. ECSO is using this anniversary as an opportunity to remember West’s life and dedication to our area.

“It was a brother that was killed on the line of duty,” said Shirley Hardee, Public Information Officer for the Ector County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s just real important for all of us to acknowledge that anybody that wears that uniform puts their lives on the line every day.”

Thad West had been with the Ector County Sheriff’s Office for only a month before being killed on Feb. 27, 1958. On that day, West was investigating a couple who was selling a four-year-old child at an Odessa apartment complex.

“He knocked on the door, went into the residence, and was talking to the young wife, she was very young and the suspect came out and shot him and killed him,” Hardee said.

West is the only Sheriff’s Deputy in Ector County that has been killed in the line of duty.

“We have a whole wall close to the Sheriff’s Office that has his memorabilia in a shadow box,” Hardee said. “That’s just real special to us that we have anything belonging to him.”

A lot of time has passed. The complex on North Dotsy where West was killed is now a parking lot. and the Sheriff’s Office has different a leader today.

But regardless of how long ago West lost his life, ECSO hopes West’s memory will give new respect for law enforcement.

“Just remember that even though we wear these uniforms we’re people and we have families,” Hardee said. ” We want to go home just like citizens want to go home at the end of the day, and so we always hope that that’s going to happen for us.”

The Sheriff’s Office has posted a link to a memorial page for Deputy Thad West on Facebook. People can use that page to write a reflection.

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April 22 2021 09:00 am