Mr. Speaker, for Houston police officer Timothy Abernethy, fighting crime was more than an occupation; it was his personal calling. Officer Abernethy was part of a special effort through the Houston Police Department to place more peace officers in high crime areas, which is why he was in an area of town that others tend to shy away from when he was shot and killed this past Sunday, December 7.
Working overtime and in a one-man patrol unit, Abernethy had pulled over a 28-year-old male for a traffic violation. As the man and the officer talked, the individual made a run for it and Officer Abernethy pursued him on foot through a nearby northwest Houston apartment complex. Tragically, the coward of a man, who happened to be out on parole, hid and ambushed Abernethy shooting him four times and killing him. The criminal has been apprehended and is charged with capital murder of a peace officer.
Officer Abernethy graduated May 27, 1997, from the Houston Police Academy, Class 170. During his 11-year HPD career, he was assigned to patrol at the North Command station and served with the HPD Search and Recovery Dive Team. Recently, Abernethy was part of an HPD bomb squad and was due to be transferred full-time to this squad.
Officer Abernethy is remembered as a giving person. His Captain, Ceaser Moore, recalls a time during Hurricane Ike this past fall when his power was out for weeks, and even though Abernethy already had his in-laws staying with him, he invited Captain Moore to stay with him until electricity was restored.
Officer Abernethy was the type of person who worked hard not only to improve his community but also himself. He worked successfully to obtain a degree while he was a member of the Houston Police Department.
Prior to joining the Houston Police Department, Officer Abernethy served in the United States Navy in the Submarine Corps.
Officer Abernethy is survived by his wife Stephanie, his son Timothy Scott Abernethy, Junior, and his daughter Olivia Ann Abernethy.
His only son, Tim, Jr., followed in his father's footsteps and joined the United States Navy so that he, too, could serve his country. Abernethy's daughter Olivia is a 2008 graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
Officer Abernethy was a man of honor who was dedicated to making our world a safer place for the rest of us. He will be greatly missed by citizens and peace officers alike. He was one of Houston's finest. Mr. Speaker, he was a cut above the rest of us.
His funeral will be this Friday in Houston, Texas, and his fellow officers will wear their black cloth of sacrifice across their badges. Peace officers are the last strand of wire in the fence between the law and those that violate the law.
Officer Timothy Abernethy lived and died serving the people of Texas and the City of Houston.
And that's the just way it is.
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