The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) remembered those lost in the line of duty throughout the department’s history at the 2023 Peace Officers Memorial Service on Tuesday.
The service was held at DPS Headquarters in Austin, with Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick serving as guest speaker.
“There are constant reminders that law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect their fellow Texans, and far too often, they make the ultimate sacrifice,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. “It is a privilege to join the Texas Department of Public Safety, one of the finest police forces in the world, to honor the lives of their fallen Troopers.”
226 DPS officers have given their lives in the line of duty.
“To the family members with us who have lost a loved one in the line of duty know this: We stand with you,” said Public Safety Commission Chairman Steven P. Mach. “Whether your loss was one year ago, five years ago or decades ago, you will always be part of the DPS family, and we will always remember.”
“It is critical for us to come together to honor the men and women who have given their lives to protect and serve,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Not only that, but we must continue supporting those mothers, fathers, wives, husbands and children who are left behind. DPS will always be there to share our strength and support for them.”
This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the line of duty death of Texas Highway Patrol Trooper James Scott Burns. Trooper Burns was shot and killed on April 29, 2008, by a driver he had stopped northeast of Lake of the Pines in Marion County. He was the 83rd DPS officer to die in the line of duty. Trooper Burns was survived by his wife, Michaela, and five-month-old daughter, Micah.
Michaela and Micah Burns, along with Trooper Burns’ brother, Stephen, and sister-in-law, Elizabeth, attended today’s service and honored their hero during a wreath laying ceremony.
For a list of photos of fallen DPS members throughout history, visit the DPS memorial website. For information about officer deaths across the state and nation, visit the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Additional photos of today’s Peace Officers Memorial Service are available on the DPS Facebook Page.