From A Fallen Officer's Husband, Equipment For Chester's Police

Posted: February 14, 1994

CHESTER — When police officer Connie Hawkins was killed while answering a 911 emergency call last July, the city's Police Department closed ranks to support Don Hawkins, her husband, and help him get through the difficult period that followed.

Last Friday, Hawkins returned the favor.

Standing beside him at the Chester police station, Police Chief James Clark announced that Hawkins had donated three video-documentation systems to the department.

The video cameras, which cost a total of about $3,750, have been installed in police cars, for use when an arrest is expected, or when documentation of some event is needed, Clark said. The cameras can also be detached from their mountings in the cars and used to film a crime scene, he said.

Clark told an audience of about 25 police officers, Mayor Barbara Bohannan- Sheppard and several community leaders that for the Chester police, who patrol in their squad cars alone, "this (the camera) becomes another set of eyes." In the event that an officer is ever assaulted or shot, Clark said, ''this could be our only method of identifying the attacker."

Hawkins, addressing the police officers, told them "this gift to all of you is my way of making sure for your best friends, or your wives, that you will come home tonight.

"If it helps do that, then I'm happy.

"Connie taught me that love is something you do, not just something in your mind," Hawkins said. "If I loved you - and I do - then I had to do something for you."

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