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News Release

July 19, 2018

DPS Issues Statement on Death of Retired DPS Crime Lab Director

AUSTIN – Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw today issued the following statement on the death of J.D. Chastain who retired as the DPS Crime Lab Director in 1980 after a 32-year career with the department:

"For more than three decades, J.D. Chastain answered the call of duty to serve and protect the State of Texas through his career at DPS, and we are saddened by his passing. It takes hard work, perseverance and integrity for someone to commit to a life of public service, and J.D. was no exception. Not only did he make significant contributions during his time at the department, but he also served in the U.S. Navy and was elected to public office in Brown County after retiring from DPS. We will always honor the legacy he leaves behind, and our thoughts and prayers remain with his loved ones during this difficult time."

Chastain joined DPS in 1948 to attend recruit school with the Texas Highway Patrol, and soon after, transferred to the crime lab to work as a chemist. He would later supervise the expansion of the DPS Crime Lab to include a system of field offices across the state. Chastain was the first Scientific Director of the Breath Alcohol Testing Program at DPS. Among other prestigious accolades he earned throughout his career, he received the revered Borkenstein Award for his work in the research, administration and development of nationwide breath alcohol testing.

Chastain passed away on July 2 at the age of 93. Services are pending. View his obituary.

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