DPS remembers fallen officers
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today honored the Texas troopers, agents and Texas Rangers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Gov. Greg Abbott, the keynote speaker for the service, and various other law enforcement officials and family members of fallen officers attended the event, which was held in conjunction with National Police Week, May 10-16.
Since 1823, 216 officers serving in the Texas Rangers and DPS have died in the line of duty. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, four police offers have died while on duty in Texas this year, and in 2014, there were 11 line-of-duty deaths statewide.
“Law enforcement is a demanding and honorable profession that requires the utmost dedication, and we are grateful for the extraordinary men and women who take to the frontlines every day to protect Texas,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “Today, on behalf of all Texans, we gather to honor the fallen officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that our communities remain safe. We show our deep appreciation for the sacrifices of all officers and their families in Texas and across our nation.”
William and Jacqueline Kohlleppel, parents of DPS Trooper William Kohlleppel, who died while on duty in 1985 near Sealy, placed a memorial wreath during the ceremony.
“The security of our communities depends on the noble men and women who dedicate their lives to the law enforcement field and willingly stand in harm’s way to protect and serve the state of Texas,” said Public Safety Chair Cynthia Leon. “The fallen heroes we honor today gave their all to fulfill the duties of a peace officer, and we are eternally thankful for their bravery and devotion.”
“Today we are reminded that great achievement is usually born from immense sacrifice and selflessness, and we honor all of the exemplary Texas Rangers, troopers and agents who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the safety of others. We also show our deep gratitude to their families for their tremendous sacrifices and pledge to never forget their lost loved ones,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “We also take this time to recognize every officer in Texas and the nation who has died in the line of duty – we grieve the loss of every comrade, near and far.”
The DPS service is one of many ceremonies scheduled across the United States to honor fallen law enforcement officers during National Police Week.
For a list and photos of fallen DPS members throughout history, visit the DPS website at www.dps.texas.gov/memorial/. For more information about officer deaths across the state and nation, see www.odmp.org/.