Police sergeant walking from DFW to Austin to honor officers who died last year

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A local police sergeant is embarking on a 7-day trip to walk 163 miles to honor 163 lives in order to make sure no law enforcement officer is forgotten.

With each mile, North Richland Hills Police Department Sgt, Brent Wright is honoring every law enforcement officer who died in the line of duty in 2018.

"Somehow, someway, they gave everything to this job. So the walk of reflection for me was just, every time I’m walking, I’m just thinking about stuff and I’m reflecting on their life and on my life," Wright said.

Sgt. Wright is walking 163 miles for the 163 lives lost.

He'll go from the DFW Metroplex all the way to Austin, making sure these heroes are never forgotten.

There was a sendoff for him Saturday morning as he embarks on the 7-day endeavor, an endeavor that many people appreciate.

Donna Ansloan came out as a way to teach her grandkids to back the blue.

"They know now that they respect police officers, right? And fireman, and all of the first responders. We thank them for what they do to keep us safe and they know, they're being taught now that if they see a policeman and there's a problem and they got something going on, that they can go tell them, that it's something that's got their back," she said.

The walk of reflection has been a year in the making and coincides with Texas Police Week.

It's shining a light on the sacrifice these men and women have made.

"Last year, there were 52 killed by gunfire, the rest were health-related issues, auto accidents. You know, one of the biggest risks for us is getting hit by other vehicles while we're out on traffic stops in busy road ways," Wright said.

The walk of reflection ends with a ceremonial walk to the Texas Peace Officer Memorial in Austin.

Each year, the final mile will be dedicated to a past Texas peace officer who died in the line of duty.

It will forever be called "The Barreda Mile" in honor of Corporal Rick Barreda, with the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Police Department.

He was tragically killed in 1997, but his legacy will carry on.

"Anytime our loved one is going to be recognized in the line of duty, we want to be there. Whether they just read his name, whether they whisper, we're there. I was so proud of Brent for doing this and just so grateful. All of our family and friends will be there whenever he gets to Austin and crosses that last mile. We're so excited," Barreda's mother, Maria Alvarado, said.

Along the route, Wright is raising money for two non-profit organizations: Concerns of Police Survivors, and Alliance for Children Tarrant County.