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CCPD officer Alan McCollum remembered three years since tragic death

Alan McCollum.PNG
Posted at 2:44 PM, Jan 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-31 21:56:57-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It’s quite common for military veterans to join the local police force after their military service expires.

Alan McCollum was one of them. Three years since he lost his life in the line of duty, we remember him.

To know Alan McCollum, is to mention something about his commitment to duty, his love for family, and, of course, that signature smile.

He was a dedicated husband to Michelle. He was also a doting father to his three children, including his youngest, Lili.

"We did a lot of stuff together. We were really close. He still had so much to introduce me to," Lili said.

McCollum was a 21-year combat veteran in the US Army, where he served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

McCollum continued his service by joining the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) where he served seven years. He served as a Senior Officer and member of the SWAT team (call sign Echo 9) before his death in 2020.

On Jan. 31 of that year, McCollum, 46, and fellow officer Michael Love responded to a traffic call on SPID at Carroll Lane. Soon after, a car driven by then 29-year-old Brandon Portillo slammed into a police patrol car and struck Alan, sending him to his death. Portillo received a life sentence in prison in April of 2022 for intoxication manslaughter death of McCollum.

Senior officer Skyler Barker was one of his closest friends and a friend of the family. He said McCollum was a true servant both on and off duty.

“He was an active member in the community outside of police work in this uniform, or other civilian clothes. He was out there doing work,“ Barker said.

After reflecting on the time since McCollum’s death, Barker believes it’s important to remember his legacy of service and where this public servant died at the corner of SPID and Carroll Lane.

“How many hundreds and hundreds of cars drive through here every day. Thousands a year. A lot of them have no idea the significance of the spot," Barker said.

Three years later, the grief of loss lingers for the McCollum family.

Michelle McCollum reflects about the important moments her late husband missed like Lili’s quinceanera, her graduation and even her wedding.

“It’s real hard to think about and get through. Those are the things that we share and it hurts,” Michelle said.

Lili will never forget the special time she spent with her father, like the days they spent together at Bahama Bucks sharing a sour shaved ice.

“We both like sour stuff,” laughed Lili.

Lili said she is honored to see her father's name recognizing him on various memorials including the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. She said is proud of her father and his service, his name, his lasting legacy - she will happily carry on with a smile, just like her father’s smile.

“He touched so many lives … and he deserved that respect,” Lili said.

Even in death, Barker believes McCollum leaves a legacy of kindness, commitment to duty and a sense of humor that has brought everyone closer together.

“There’s definitely a big piece missing but it made this (CCPD) department stronger and made the community stronger. You could just feel and see the love,” Barker said.

More Veterans In Focus stories are available here, along with resources for local veterans.

Contact Veterans In Focus reporter Pat Simon at