HOUSTON - Houstonians are still paying tribute to slain Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth. They are still leaving balloons and gifts where Goforth was gunned down last week. But there are also efforts by residents to permanently memorialize the deputy.
Baytown portrait artist Ken Pridgeon is one of them.
“I just pick up this paintbrush and it comes right off no problem,” Pridgeon told FOX 26 while working on Goforth’s portrait. “It is no problem because I love it.”
Pridgeon’s been painting portraits of Texas war heroes for 5 years. He says he doesn’t usually paint fallen law enforcement officers, but unfortunately, he says, American law enforcement officers are on a battlefield too.
“I don't understand what's happening in the United States right now,” Pridgeon says.
Pridgeon is working to get the the deputy’s portrait finished in time for his funeral Friday. Then he’ll give it to the family or the Harris County Sheriff’s department for a permanent tribute.
Meanwhile another individual is leading a petition drive for another permanent tribute. Andrew Callis, a former law enforcement officer himself, wants West Road, where the deputy was shot and killed, to be named in his honor.
“That road is a road that runs through the heart of the community that that officer patrolled,” Callis says. “The officer needs to be remembered as selfless, serving his community, being a family man, and being a good person.”
Callis won’t even utter the name of the man charged with Goforth’s murder. He calls him a coward, and says Darren Goforth is the only name that should be remembered out of this tragedy.
“Every time you drive up and down that road you're going to have to say Goforth Road. Period.”
Callis says he will present his petition to Harris County Commissioners court on September 29. So far he has well over 10,000 signatures supporting his effort.
To sign Callis' the petition, you can click here.