Veteran Stephenville officer succumbs to illness

E-T staff report
Sgt. Steven Watts' patrol vehicle is parked outside of the Stephenville Police Department for anyone wishing to leave messages or tokens of condolence or appreciation.

The Stephenville Police Department and other local law enforcement are mourning the loss of one of their own as veteran officer Sgt. Steven Watts died Monday at a Dallas hospital.

Watts, 53, reportedly fell ill last week and was diagnosed with a severe heart condition. After surgery, he slipped into a coma. After no brain activity was detected, the family was faced with the decision to remove life support, according to information posted on a Go Fund Me page for the family.

Watts, a 25-year-veteran of the SPD, was escorted home by his brothers and sisters in blue on Monday afternoon, according to reports on the city of Stephenville Facebook page.

The procession traveled from Dallas via U.S. 281 and Lingleville Road to Lacy Funeral Home.

There was an outpouring of love and support from the community through social media posts on the city of Stephenville's Facebook page.

"Love, Prayers and our condolences to the family," reads one while another commemorates Sgt. Watts' years of service to the community, "Thank you for your service."

"Our prayers go out for the family of this good person. Sgt Steven Watts was a well respected officer and a tremendous asset for Stephenville. He will be greatly missed...,"  reads a post from Stephenville City Councilman Gerald Cook on the city's Facebook page.

Watts' patrol vehicle was parked in front of the Stephenville Police Department on Monday evening for anyone wanting to leave notes or tokens of condolences or appreciation.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up for the Watts family at In addition, a benefit account has been started for the family at First Financial Bank.