AUSTIN – The Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw presented one Director’s Citation, four Lifesaving Awards, two Director’s Awardsand a Unit Citation to DPS employees and law enforcement partners today in Austin.
“The people we honored today epitomize the department’s mission of protecting and serving Texas,” said Director McCraw. “Whether they were rescuing children from harm, saving someone’s life, or providing vital investigatory support, these exemplary men and women have served Texas with distinction, and we are proud to honor their efforts.”
The following awards were presented today:
- Trooper Patrick Alonzo, Highway Patrol in Georgetown, received a Director’s Citation. From January 2016 through February 2017, Trooper Alonzo submitted 10 criminal charges on six separate adults for exploiting or harming children – and at least seven children were protected or rescued. Using his Interdiction for Protection of Children (IPC) training and experience during traffic stops, crash investigations or roadside welfare checks, he has successfully detected suspects who prey on children – and helped rescue missing and at-risk children, removing them from potential harm. Trooper Alonzo also works closely with the department’s Victim Services counselors to ensure the children receive the appropriate services and support.
- Trooper James Glaze and Trooper Brandon Laird, both Highway Patrol in Dallas, each received aLife Saving Award. On Dec. 13, 2016, Troopers Glaze and Laird were on routine patrol when they assisted the Dallas Police Department on a possible armed robbery in progress. The Troopers arrived at the scene and located the victim of the robbery bleeding from a shotgun wound to his left arm. As a certified paramedic, Trooper Glaze immediately recognized the victim was in critical condition due to blood loss from arterial bleeding. Trooper Glaze retrieved a department-issued tourniquet from his duty belt and, with assistance from Trooper Laird, applied the tourniquet, which immediately stopped the bleeding and stabilized the victim.
- Trooper Franklin Randolph, Highway Patrol in Burnet, received a Life Saving Award. On Nov. 7, 2016, Trooper Randolph responded to a call of a vehicle stuck in a low water crossing with a driver still inside. At the time of the call, it had been raining heavily, and water crossings in the area had quickly become impassable. Upon his arrival, Trooper Randolph entered the water to assist a single occupant in the partially-submerged vehicle. He was able to pull the driver through the window, as Burnet County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Eric Molina threw his rescue rope to the Trooper. As Trooper Randolph held onto the driver and rescue rope, the deputy pulled them both to safety.
- Trooper Samuel Hellinger, Highway Patrol in Gainesville, received a Life Saving Award and Cooke County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Bill Dixon received a Director’s Award. On Jan. 7, 2017, Trooper Hellinger was on routine patrol in Cooke County, when he observed a woman near the edge of the U.S. Highway 82 overpass bridge above Interstate 35. When Hellinger turned around to conduct a check on the woman, she instantly climbed onto the barrier and threatened to jump. Trooper Hellinger spoke with the woman for more than two minutes, pleading with her not to jump, while he waited for assistance. Lt. Dixon arrived on the scene without being noticed by the woman. While Trooper Hellinger continued to speak and distract the woman, Lt. Dixon was able to sneak up and successfully pull the woman off the barrier to safety, despite the icy conditions, which made footing difficult.
- Chief Customs and Border Protection Officer Olga De Luna, received a Director’s Award. Chief De Luna is the liaison assigned to the Texas Joint Crime Information Center in Austin, supporting not only the ongoing Texas-Mexico border missions, but also the entire state of Texas. From Jan. 1, 2017, through March 9, 2017, Chief De Luna assisted with more than 75 incoming Human Intelligence reports. Chief De Luna has aided DPS on matters involving Mexican cartels, homicide, terrorism, violent gang activity, human smuggling and trafficking, narcotics, weapons, theft, fraud, money laundering, kidnapping, threats to law enforcement, stash house locations and corruption. She has provided valuable investigative and operational support to various state and local law enforcement entities in Texas that have resulted in numerous arrests and seizures.
- Human Intelligence Team, Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division in Austin, received a Unit Citation. Since Jan. 1, 2015, through Dec. 31, 2016, the Human Intelligence Team has produced 136 Intelligence Information Reports regarding tactics, techniques, and procedures of Transnational Criminal Organizations in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security partners. The team also worked with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to identify more than 100 foreign nationals of interest involved in illicit criminal activity. In addition, the team assisted: the U.S. Border Patrol in locating and identifying stash houses; the FBI in the identification and apprehension of two individuals charged with providing material support to terrorists; and the Texas Rangers in three separate murder investigations. In another case, the team provided crucial information to the Texas Rangers and federal partners, which enabled Mexican authorities to recover individuals kidnapped by cartel members and return them to the U.S. Captain Jason Brewer, Lieutenant Leonard Hinojosa,and Special Agents Michael McAnarney, David Cordova, and Leo Pena were all recognized as part of the Unit Citation.