The Austin Police Department is gaining the legacy of one of its heroes. Houston McCoy fatally shot UT tower sniper Charles Whitman in 1966. Forty-seven-years-later, McCoy's daughter will now wear the badge.
On Friday night, APD will gain 33 new officers. One of them will display a very famous name on her uniform.
Monika McCoy is the daughter of Houston McCoy. He fatally shot UT tower sniper Charles Whitman.
Houston was in the 26th cadet class in 1963. Monika is in the 125th.
"I've had dreams about becoming a police officer from a very young age," said Monika McCoy.
"I think a lot of that had to do with listening to my dad's stories and looking at his pictures, just the compassion he had for helping people. That's something that stuck with me and my brothers all throughout our lives."
Though she wanted to follow in her father's footsteps much sooner, life took her on a different path. She served in the Army for ten years. She then worked as an accountant and raised her two sons. At 42, she's finally seeing her dream come to pass.
"Words cannot describe what an honor it is to wear the uniform of the Austin Police Department. There are just so many honorable and respectable police officers here," said McCoy.
During the grueling eight months of training, McCoy stayed with Officer Billy Speed's widow to be closer to the academy. Speed was one of Whitman's 16 victims.
No one made things easy for McCoy. She earned the badge just like her classmates.
"Moni, when she showed up, she was all motivation. She doesn't have an ounce of quit in her. This was before any of us knew what she had come from. She had already earned our respect," said cadet
Dustin Hammit. "She's always thinking about other people and she's quite possibly one of the least selfish people that I know and she's always willing to put out the extra effort for somebody else and she's an amazing person and it's an honor to serve with her. Thank you."
In the process of getting into the Austin police academy, she lost her mom and famous dad. Houston McCoy passed away last December.
"I know they're up above watching me and I think they've watched me this entire time and have given me the strength to get through," said McCoy.
The officers who were with McCoy in the tower that fateful day will attend the graduation ceremony Friday night to support McCoy. She says they've all taken her in as a daughter.
McCoy hits the streets with a field training officer this Sunday.