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One year later, family of fallen CCPD officer reflects on loss ahead of vigil

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Posted at 10:20 PM, Jan 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-24 23:20:50-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Although they’ve mostly kept to themselves as they mourned the loss of a husband and father, the McCollum family is planning to keep the legacy of fallen Corpus Christi police officer Alan McCollum alive by putting on a candlelight vigil next week.

“It’s been a hard holiday season for us — Alan really loved the holidays and being with his girls, so that was a little rough for us,” said widow Michelle McCollum. “There hasn’t been one day that’s gone by that we don’t think and grieve him.”

McCollum was killed at the age of 46 on Jan. 31, 2020. It was a Friday night; he was struck by a vehicle while conducting a traffic stop on a separate vehicle that was racing in the westbound lane of State Hwy. 358 over the Carroll Lane overpass.

Michael Love, another CCPD officer, was injured in the crash, but survived.

Brandon Portillo, 27, was charged with intoxication manslaughter, intoxication assault and driving with a suspended license.

Although she knows the pandemic has slowed down the court process, Michelle McCollum said she’s been checking in with the District Attorney’s office monthly.

“We do feel like Alan does deserve justice and we need to close that chapter,” Michelle said. “For him, for the department, for the family, so we’re looking forward to that — not a ‘good’ looking forward to that — but we definitely need to get that justice served.”

McCollum is also survived by his three daughters. Michelle said her daughter, Liliana (Lili), now 11, did a balloon sendoff for her dad on Father’s Day. She adds that the ongoing pandemic didn’t make things any easier for her.

Although Lili has plans of going into the medical field in the future, the sixth-grader said she wants to find a way to honor her dad.

“I know something he wanted me to do as a younger girl was join the police scouts — I think that’s what they’re called — so I’m going to,” Lili said. “I’m definitely going to join them when I get older just so I can keep his name going in the police department.”

The vigil is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 31 around 9 p.m. at the intersection of South Padre Island Drive and Carroll Lane. Michelle McCollum said that the public is invited, but asks that everyone in attendance wear a mask and arrive early. Candles have been donated, but members of the public are welcome to bring their own.