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                 Sunset Announcement

Road Runner DPS Chaparral

Produced by DPS Public Information, (512) 424-2080

July 1998

DPS creates new DL Division

Some 1,700 DPS employees are receiving their paychecks under a new budget code this month.

The Public Safety Commission voted June 2 to create the new Driver License Division, consolidating all of the agency's driver license functions. The new division combines:

  • Field driver license offices previously supervised by Traffic Law Enforcement;
  • The headquarters Driver Licensing and Control Service (DLCS); and
  • Attorneys handling Administrative License Revocation cases.

Michael Anderson was named Chief of the new division. A 32-year DPS veteran, Anderson served the past 11 years as the Assistant Chief of Administration in charge of DLCS. Before that, he headed the Staff Support Service for three years.

"Four years of planning has culminated in the creation of the new division," said Col. Dudley M. Thomas. "Drawing all driver license functions together under one boss will improve our operations. Chief Anderson will look for ways to improve efficiency, and that may mean reallocating some resources."

The new division will be divided into field and headquarters sections. Frank Elder, the deputy administrator of DLCS, was named assistant chief in charge of the headquarters section. Elder has worked 24 years for DPS and served as the Region VI Driver License Captain before moving to headquarters.

An assistant chief for the field section will be selected later.

"I'm excited about the opportunity, and I look forward to getting to really know and work with the personnel in our field offices," Chief Anderson said. "Our employees both at headquarters and in the field do an outstanding job day in and day out. As a team, we will work together to improve our service by being more accessible and convenient to the citizens of Texas."

-- Sherri Deatherage Green

Dear fellow employees:

DPS has only awarded 14 Medals of Valor in its history, three of them June 2.

On Jan. 6, a distraught man arrived at the Sulphur Springs DL office with a box he claimed was a bomb. Despite chances to leave along with the others they evacuated, HP Troopers Cody Sanders and George Harris and Ranger Sgt. Danny Rhea stayed for more than an hour talking with the man. The suspect eventually pointed a gun at the officers. Rhea had to make the toughest decision any officer ever faces -- taking one life to save others.

It was my honor to present these medals to Sanders, Harris and Rhea, who exemplified that day what courtesy, service, protection -- and courage -- are all about.

Employee input will be critical in getting the new Driver License Division off the ground. Discuss your ideas with your supervisor, or send them to me through the formal suggestion procedure. I've responded to about 30 suggestions since that program began last year. I can't always say "yes," but I value your ideas. Boxes are being installed at DPS offices so you can more conveniently submit budgetary and managerial ideas to me and workplace safety suggestions to our safety committees.

Col. Dudley M. Thomas

Short Shots

No warnings
DPS has adopted a "no warning" policy for occupant restraint violations. Initially, troopers will issue more traffic tickets to people breaking those laws. However, compliance rates should increase as the public becomes aware of the new policy. A 1997 study estimated that about a quarter of Texas drivers and passengers did not wear their seat belts, and 37 percent of children were not restrained.

"Texas' seat belt laws have been around for nearly 13 years now," said DPS Director Col. Dudley M. Thomas. "There's no excuse for Texas drivers not to know about the law and not to buckle up. So, there's really no need for warnings. The goal of any enforcement program is voluntary citizen compliance."

Director's Awards
Donald Beam and Amy Davis of Stephenville have received Director's Awards for helping motorists involved in an accident. Beam and Davis were helping a mother and daughter when another vehicle skidded through a stop. Beam pushed two of the women out of the way and was critically injured. Davis suffered minor injuries. Tr. IV Robert Cox, HP Granbury, nominated Beam and Davis.

Promotional process
Applications for the position of Pilot Investigator are due by 5 p.m. July 10. Oral interviews are scheduled for July 28-29. For more information, contact the Aircraft Section at 512-424-2098.

Risk management award
DPS has received the Bronze Safety Award from the State Office of Risk Management for promoting occupational safety and health during the 1997 fiscal year. DPS earned the award by lowering its injury frequency rate.

FBI Academy
Sgt. Allen (Rex) Akin, HP Gilmer, graduated June 19 from the 193rd Session of the FBI National Academy.

Capitol DL office
Capitol area employees, don't forget about the convenient DL renewal office. It is located on the fourth floor of the William P. Clements Building and provides DL renewal, ID card issuance or renewal, change of address and name change services. The phone number is 512-936-2100.

Mile Markers

CLE Promotions
Jerry Marshall Schwab, Sgt./Inv., Narc. Svc. Amarillo to Lt., Narc. Svc. Harlingen; Johnnie Jezierski III, Tr. II, HP Hempstead to Sgt./Inv., Special Crimes Houston.

Admin. Promotions
Calvin Mike Anderson, Asst.Chief, Admin. Div. Austin to Chief DL Austin; Frank G. Elder Jr., Dep. Admin., DL&C Austin to Asst. Chief, DL Div. Austin; Burton W. Christian, Major, TLE Austin to Asst. Chief, Admin. Div. Austin.

TLE Promotions
Homer Dee Cleckler Jr., Insp. III, VI Austin to Supr., VI Austin.

Gary Wayne Franzetti, Tr. V, HP Caldwell, 29 yrs., 20 days; Robert Kenneth Dittlinger, Sgt./Inv., Special Crimes Austin, 27 yrs., 9 mos., 9 days; David Mark Richards, Staff Sgt., Governor's Protective Detail Austin, 27 yrs., 9 mos., 8 days; Harrell Eugene Robinson, Comm. Tech. Supr., Fleet Op. Austin, 21 yrs., 9 mos., 18 days; John James Stahl, Sgt., HP Mineral Wells, 29 yrs., 10 mos., 3 days; Thomas Carrol Van Zandt, Tr. V, DL Georgetown, 25 yrs., 7 mos., 2 days; Alicia Gil Medel, Comm. Clerk, DR Austin, 29 yrs., 1 mo.; Kay C. Rogers, File Clerk, DIC Austin, 3 mos.; Cora Laverne Wilkinson, Admin. Tech. II, Co. F Rangers Waco, 22 yrs., 3 days.

Herbert Weeks, retired HP Capt., Corpus Christi (Oct. 1931-Jan. 1972) died June 13. William B. Blakemore II, former Public Safety Commission Chairman (Dec. 1968 - April 1983) died May 26.

Emergency Roadside Assistance/Drug Trafficking 1-800-525-5555