Section of U.S. 84 dedicated to fallen state trooper - FOX34 Lubbock

Section of U.S. 84 dedicated to fallen state trooper

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SLATON, Texas -

Four decades after his death in the line of duty, State Trooper Jerry Don Davis' legacy was memorialized Thursday morning at Slaton High School. A segment of Highway 84 was named in his honor.

His sergeant at the time, Danny Smith, said Davis' lifelong dream was to be a state trooper, and his service epitomized what it means to be in law enforcement.

"There are a lot of people that have the knowledge and the ability, but he was the one that had the knowledge, had the ability, and the heart that goes with it," Smith said.

In 1980, Davis was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Highway 84.

That night, Sgt. Smith was one of the first troopers called to the scene.

"We had to put emotions aside and stay focused on what our job was -- to protect the scene, investigate the crime, and bring people to justice, and we did," Smith said.

Smith arrested two people that night and now the killer is serving life in prison. 

State Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) said the story of JD Davis shows the level of sacrifice our officers take to protect us. 

"I can only imagine getting up and driving on a highway, knowing the next car you're going to stop could be someone that has ill intent or no respect for life. That's the reality they face every day," State Sen. Perry said.

He said this dedication is 40 years late, but at the end of the day, to see people unite to memorialize Davis' legacy speaks volumes. 

"Not a single taxpayer dollar can be spent on a dedication, so they literally have to raise that money individually or as a community. There are also some foundations that troopers have set up to pay for it, so not a dime of cost in that," State Sen. Perry said.

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