DPS officers honored on Texas First Responders Day
Two Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers who died in the line of duty and a DPS Agent severely injured on duty were recognized with Star of Texas Awards at the State Capitol Monday.
The awards, presented by Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, were created by the Texas Legislature to honor peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical first responders who have been seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.
DPS Criminal Investigations Agent Armando Lopez Jr. (not pictured), stationed in North Texas, was shot in 2009 by a bank robbery suspect in Dallas as he and other members of a federal task force made entry into an apartment. Agent Lopez was hit in the stomach area by a shotgun blast. Lopez was back on duty eight months later, earned a Purple Heart from DPS and continues his work as a CID Agent. The task force members earned DPS Director’s Awards for their efforts during the shootout.
Also honored were Highway Patrol Cpl. David Slaton (right), who died in a two-vehicle wreck in September 2010 in Montague County, and Jonathan McDonald (left), a Lubbock area Highway Patrol trooper, who died in November 2010 in a one-vehicle on-duty crash. They were the 84th and 85th officers killed in the line of duty in DPS history. Their families accepted the award on their behalf, as friends, family and fellow DPS officers gathered in support.
The Star of Texas Awards coincide closely with 9-11, which has been designated as Texas First Responders Day.