The Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw today presented a Purple Heart, Director’s Citation and Life Saving Award to DPS employees. Trooper Troy W. Clark received the Purple Heart in recognition of the extensive injuries he suffered in 2012 while on duty; and Criminal Investigations Division (CID) Agent Darren Lubbe was recognized with both a Director’s Citation and Life Saving Award for separate incidents of extraordinary service.
The Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division personnel in Region 5 were also honored for excellence in supporting criminal investigations in the area. In addition, CID Agent Timothy Upright was honored with the Officer of the Year Award from ASIS International, a security professionals association.
“It is my honor to recognize Trooper Troy Clark for his personal sacrifice and devotion to duty,” said DPS Director McCraw. “On a daily basis, our men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line to protect Texas, and today we have the opportunity to show our gratitude to the individuals who have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of our citizens and assist those in danger.”
Today Director McCraw also updated the PSC on legislative actions taken by the 83rd Texas Legislature, including legislation passed that provides funding for a 10 percent pay increase for all commissioned officers in the Schedule C salary schedule over the next biennium, plus an equity adjustment for commissioned officers above a Trooper I level. The legislation is pending action by the governor.
“We are extremely grateful to the Texas Legislature for their continued support and the resources they have provided us this session, as well as their leadership in providing the compensation our DPS commissioned officers so justly deserve,” said Director McCraw.
“The men and women who make up the Texas Department of Public Safety are committed to serving and protecting Texas, and should be proud of the impact they are making in this state every day,” said PSC Chair Cynthia Leon. “Last year, we made our own commitment to work with lawmakers to rectify the disparity in pay for our commissioned officers. And I’m pleased to report that the Texas Legislature took bold action in making those pay adjustments for these courageous individuals who risk their lives every day to keep us safe.”
Details about the various awards presented at the PSC meeting today are as follows:
Trooper Troy W. Clark, Highway Patrol in Columbus, received a Purple Heart for injuries suffered in a December 31, 2012, roadside crash. Clark was conducting a crash investigation on FM 102 in Colorado County when he was struck by an out-of-control vehicle. Clark was thrown several feet into a guardrail, and suffered a broken jaw, broken nose, shattered facial bones and extensive damage to his left knee and shoulder. He has had several surgeries and may require additional surgeries in the future. Trooper Clark continues his rehabilitation, and he vows to return to duty in the future.
Agent Darren Lubbe, Criminal Investigations Division in Mount Pleasant, received a Life Saving Award and Director’s Citation. The Life Saving Award was for saving the life of a crash victim on Jan. 10, 2013, in Titus County. Lubbe witnessed a major collision in front of him while traveling on Highway 271 and stopped to render aide. He freed the victim from the vehicle and recognized the victim’s compound tibia fracture as a life-threatening injury. Lubbe applied a tourniquet to the leg of the victim, who was later transported by helicopter to a major trauma center. Lubbe received the Director’s Citation for his response to the April 17, 2013, fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. Lubbe was traveling on I-35 in West when he witnessed the explosion. He immediately contacted DPS communications in Waco, and requested additional assistance and assets. Lubbe used his training and experience as an EMT and Advanced Tactical Medic to administer first aid to injured individuals, coordinate rescues, establish a triage area and gather medical supplies. Lubbe’s quick action and strong leadership helped save many lives in West.
The Intelligence and Counterterrorism (ICT) Division personnel in Region 5 received a Unit Citation for their support of Major Criminal Enterprise investigations conducted in the region. During investigations, ICT personnel provided a variety of services, which included developing analytical workups on subjects, creating photo spreads, monitoring cameras and more. During one operation over a short span of time, the team researched more than 600 suspects using more than 15 databases, resulting in the arrest of 45 fugitive criminals and six gang members as well as the seizure of firearms and controlled substances. Becky McNiel, Robbin Ramirez, Jennifer Taylor, Angela Warden, and Jennifer-Marie Woody were all recognized as part of the Unit Citation.
Agent Timothy Upright, Criminal Investigations Division in San Antonio, received the Officer of the Year Award from ASIS International, an organization for security professionals. While administering polygraph exams of potential trooper-trainee applicants, Upright was able to uncover information from an examinee about a planned armored car robbery. Upright’s information led to a joint investigation by DPS Criminal Investigations Division, the Texas Rangers and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The investigation resulted in the arrest of five suspects and prevented the robbery.