‘Every moment he kept you smiling’: Kings Mountain police chief speaks about officer who died of COVID-19

Carl Proper, an officer and K-9 handler with the KMPD, died after contracting COVID-19. He was just 39 years old.
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 11:34 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2021 at 11:52 PM EDT
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KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s been an emotional week for Kings Mountain Police Chief Lisa Proctor and her officers. The department lost one of their own last week. Carl Proper, an officer and K-9 handler with the KMPD, died after contracting COVID-19. He was just 39 years old.

Proctor spoke to WBTV in an interview Thursday evening, speaking fondly of the officer she had known since 2018.

“Every moment he kept you smiling, kept you laughing, but when it come time to do the job, he was all serious. You never have a bad day around Carl,” said Proctor.

An amphitheater in King’s Mountain’s Patriot Park has been glowing with blue light this week. A large screen in the amphitheater bears a photo of Proper and his K-9 partner, Bronco. The same photo was printed on a banner at Proper’s viewing Thursday evening.

Chris Graham, a fellow K-9 handler with the Kings Mountain Police Department, complimented not only Proper’s personality, but his skills as an officer.

“I loved him and I loved what he stood for and Alex, I’ve never seen a guy from day one, 110 percent and it never changed. Every time he showed up for training it was 110 percent,” said Graham.

Unfortunately, Proper’s career came to a sudden halt. Proctor said Proper contracted COVID-19 in early August. His condition deteriorated in the weeks that followed.

“It was almost like a emotional roller coaster ride. We’ve been praying for a miracle and we really thought we were gonna get it, but God had another plan,” said Proctor.

Proper died on Friday, September 17. Proctor said he leaves behind a wife and three children.

“They had just recently moved into a new home, and he didn’t even get to spend probably a week – week and a half – in that new home,” explained the police chief.

Proctor offered up a message for the Kings Mountain community regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Regardless of where you stand political or what you believe in, do what’s right by your family, do what’s right by your community and let’s take this thing seriously,” said Proctor. “This COVID, it’s real. It’s real and I pray no one else has to go through what we’re going through here and what his family is going through because of it.”

Proctor said the department will be fundraising for Proper’s family and collecting donations. She said anyone is welcome to contribute.

Proctor’s funeral will be held Friday, September 24 at Woodlawn Funeral Home in Mount Holly.

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