Grapevine police officers honored a fallen officer and his daughter at her high school graduation Friday night.
Graduating senior Sarah Medlin was not aware of the tribute ahead of time. Her father, Officer Darren Medlin was killed in the line of duty in 2004.
Officer Medlin was working DWI enforcement the night of June 12, 2004, when a drunk driver plowed into him, killing the 34-year old officer and former Marine. It was the first Grapevine police officer ever killed in the line of duty.
"Several of us who were close to Darren. We kind of took it upon ourselves, obviously, in support for the family,” said Sgt. Bobby Smith. “The girls remained in their lives in some form or fashion for support. And the events that they go to that, we attend. We just stayed in their lives up to this day, and we will continue to do that.”
Medlin left behind a wife, Gina, and four kids. Sarah was 4 years old when her father died. Her Grapevine PD extended family couldn’t wait to see her graduate.
“It means a lot because my dad’s not here. So it’s nice to have them show up for me. I don’t know what I’d do without them,” Sarah said. “It’s nice to know that I always have someone there, especially now that I’m gonna go to UT-A.”
"We're never going to replace Darren,” said Sgt. Jason Keller. “All we can do is help and be there for the kids and Gina and anything they ever need."
Roy Alvin Adams was convicted of intoxication manslaughter and sentenced to twelve and a half years.
FOX 4 did a story on Gina Medlin and her kids in 2007 when she fought for and got stiffer penalties for intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter on a public servant.
The Medlin-Freeto Act, also named after Fort Worth Officer Dwayne Freeto who was also killed in the line of duty, raised the penalty to up to life in prison.
Gina is proud of how far her daughter has come and thankful for those who helped.
Remember the Fallen Heroes charity took up a collection for Sarah and gave her $1,000 to help her with college expenses.