The spouses of local law enforcement said Deputy Robert Kunze’s death has taken a toll on the men and women who bear the badge and their families.
“I think we all just feel so helpless when something like this happens,” said Lacy Litton.
Lacy is the proud wife of retired Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Sergeant Terry Litton and the mother of deputy Seth Litton.
Lacy said she was pleased when her husband retired after more than 30 years with the department.
“I felt relief thinking I wasn’t sending him out on the streets and now that my son is out there it’s just, it’s terrifying,” Lacy said.
She said she fears for her son’s safety each time he leaves for work.
“I go off to work everyday and we know that anything can happen at anytime, but they put themselves out there right in the thick of it. People get frustrated with pulling over, for an officer to maybe be stoic, but they don’t know if that’s their last call that they’re going to be on,” she said.
Lacy said when the news spread on Sunday of Deputy Kunze’s death her heart dropped.
Like many family members, she said she feared for her son’s life.
“They don’t answer right away and you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ It’s just a text that they say I’m OK and you’re like you can take a breath, but still the worrying is just constant,” she said.
She said the worrying only subsides when she knows her husband and her son are off work and home safe.
“Wives talk about there is nothing more calming than hearing Velcro ripping off at night,” Lacy said. “It’s a relief that I got to hear that with my husband and I get to see him everyday. It hurts for Kunze’s wife that she won’t get to hear that anymore.”
Lacy said she and a group of other spouses has made it their mission to support their loved ones and their career. They have also formed a wives group to help law enforcement and their families during times of need.
The wives hosted a candlelight vigil in honor of Deputy Kunze on Tuesday evening.
“It’s to support his wife and child and family as well as his brothers and sisters in blue. The law enforcement community is wide and very deep and we just want to show them our love and support,” Lacy said.
Lacy said she hopes Deputy Kunze’s tragic death will serve as a reminder that law enforcement officials are human and they too have families to go home to.