It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the loss of one of our officers and SMPOA members.
Officer Kenneth Copeland, 58, and other SMPD officers were serving a warrant Monday afternoon when the suspect shot him multiple times. Copeland was wearing his protective vest and was immediately transported to Central Texas Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.
Copeland joined the department March 30, 1998, and served SMPD for 19 years, 9 months as a Police Officer.
He was born 11/26/1959 in Houma, Louisiana to Nile and Theo Copeland. He had two brothers, David and Robert Copeland and one sister, Jennifer Copeland Hudd. He is survived by his wife, Sheila, and four sons (Nile, Noah, James and Jonah).
He worked as a corrections officer with the Texas Department of Corrections in Huntsville from 1982-1988, served as corrections officer with Santa Clara County, San Jose, CA 1988-1990, and was Deputy Sheriff with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office 1990-1995.
Officer Copeland still served on active duty with the U. S. Coast Guard, Corpus Christi sector which included duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The suspect is in custody following a standoff with the San Marcos/Hays County SWAT.
Ken was a dedicated, hardworking officer who was well known in the community. He had an infectious smile and was known for handing out his favorite drink, Topo Chico mineral water, to anyone who would take one.
This is the first line-of-duty death in the department’s history.