More than 100 people gathered at 3100 Knickerbocker Road Saturday morning for a prayer vigil in honor of the late San Angelo Police Department’s Sgt. Korby Kennedy. Kennedy was killed while on duty one year ago at the location of the vigil.
A sign marking the location was unveiled at the vigil with Kennedy’s name and end of watch date.
Officer Brian Bylsma, SAPD traffic officer and president of the local chapter of the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, Texas Chapter XXXV, organized Saturday’s gathering.
“Today is the anniversary for the end of watch for Sgt. Kennedy. Sgt. Kennedy was killed a year ago in a traffic accident at this spot,” Bylsma said. “The local Blue Knights chapter decided that we wanted to do something to basically honor Sgt. Kennedy and have something erected out here to be able to remind people of the gentleman.”
Bylsma said the Knights put the plan in motion by contacting local businesses and had the memorial sign made identifying Kennedy as a Texas peace officer and marked his end of watch date as June 25, 2015. The Blue Knights MC, Bylsma said, is an international motorcycle club predominantly made up of active duty law enforcement officers and retired law enforcement officers.
Keeping Kennedy’s memory alive in the community is something Bylsma said is extremely important. Prior to unveiling the memorial sign, Bylsma said he will make sure that no one forgets Kennedy.
“Sgt. Kennedy was a public servant for the City of San Angelo. He died in a vehicle accident, doing what he loved to do, during an escort to the Show and Shine for the boat races.” Bylsma said. “And it’s kind of coincidental that on the anniversary date, the boat races are here in San Angelo again.”
Kennedy was not only a public servant, he was a servant to his community as well. As Bylsma said, Kennedy knew everyone. He was active in the San Angelo community through organizations such as Safety City as well as leading procession of the motorcycle run annually to Toys for Tots toy drives.
Bylsma said he met Kennedy initially in 1999 and through a series of events that Kennedy eventually became his sergeant. He said that is the reason that the memorial was so personal to him.
“Because of the man himself and because of what he put out to the community and did the ultimate sacrifice and laid his life down on the line, it’s imperative that everyone remembers him.”
The sign was made possible with permission from property owner Danny Bahlman to place it at the location, Fast Signs Fabrications, who made the sign, and Concho Fence, who set the post at the location.
“Without their assistance, it would have been very difficult to place this sign. I have personally thanked them for this.” Bylsma said.
Candles were lit by Bylsma, Kennedy’s widow, Georgiana, family and officers at the vigil in the sergeant’s memory. After a prayer from Russ Frasier and the unveiling of the sign, blue balloons were released to honor Kennedy.
“The only thing I can say is ‘Don’t forget’. Within the last four years, San Angelo has lost two officers, Jaime Padron and also Sgt. Kennedy.” he said. “It cuts a deep hole in the law enforcement community when something like this happens.”