by Hannah Haney
Members of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office acted above and beyond the call of duty when they rallied together to honor the family of a fallen police officer. Sam Houston State University senior Chelsea Dennis lost her father in the line of duty in 2001, but through this unimaginable tragedy, her dad’s brothers and sisters in blue have stepped in to offer their support throughout life’s many milestones.
Dennis is set to graduate Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Public Health from SHSU on May 12 of this year, and on April 6 as she prepared to take her graduation photos, she was surrounded by supporting ‘family’- officers from her father’s former team.
“There are no words that can truly describe the way I feel about the support I have received from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. The day that we got together to take pictures I had numerous people come up to me to tell me stories about working with my dad and I could not help but to be overwhelmed with bittersweet emotions,” Dennis said. “It is nice to know that I have support from more people than I can possibly imagine and that my dad’s legacy truly lives on.”
Dennis’ father instilled in her the importance of living a life full of purpose and she applied this lesson during her time at SHSU.
“Growing up in a family of police officers, I feel extremely connected to SHSU’s motto, ‘The measure of a Life is its Service.’ This means that even though my dad’s life was cut short, it was a tremendously purposeful one. He gave his life serving and protecting others and I have so much respect for the men and women in blue that risk their lives for us today,” Dennis said.
After graduation, Dennis plans to acquire her level one certificate for American Sign Language and also hopes to become an occupational therapist in pediatrics. Wherever her dreams may take her, she knows she can rely on the support of, her family in blue, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.