LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Friends and family of Patricia Vickers, Lawton's first ever female police officer are mourning her loss after she passed away this weekend.
She served the Lawton Police Department from 1966 to 1987 and earned the rank of lieutenant before she retired. Vickers then worked for the Comanche County Sheriff's Department for 10 years.
She died Sunday after battling cancer and Alzheimer's. She was 83 years old.
7News spoke with one of Vickers' close friends who worked with her at LPD for 14 years.
"She was kind, caring and sometimes people in this business just don't want to talk to some big birdy policemen," said Sergeant C.H. Brazzel. "They may want to talk to a kind, compassionate female and she was available for that and again, one of the first to ever be in that squad car."
Sergeant Brazzel says Vickers had to overcome many obstacles when she became an officer, but she earned everyone's respect because she worked so hard.
Brazzel actually went to visit Vickers in the hospital just 4 days before she passed. He says he's very grateful for that time he got with her.
"It means a lot," said Brazzel. "I think we in this fraternal order of police have a tendency to go back to our memories that we shared down here and when you have a chance to see someone you haven't seen for several months maybe even several years, you have a lot of flashbacks and memories of what you did during those years you worked together or worked for someone."
He now encourages younger officers to be the best they can be, the same way Vickers encouraged, motivated and inspired other officers including him.
"It's just a pleasure to work with someone down here that comes before me and is here long before I get here and sets the example and pride to always do the right thing and to encourage us to be cautious and careful out here so that we can all make 20 years," said Brazzel.
Vickers is survived by her husband, Jay and her two daughters. The funeral will be Thursday at 2:00 at Sunset Memorial Gardens.