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News Release

May 31, 2019

ICYMI: DPS Honors Lifesaving Efforts, Awards Purple Heart and Medal of Valor

AUSTIN – Last month, the Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw presented six Director's Citations, five Lifesaving Awards, one Director's Award, one Medal of Valor, one Purple Heart, a Unit Citation, and recognized recipients of the Robert F. Borkenstein Award and the Trooper of the Year Award at a ceremony in Austin. Additionally, two Troopers (one male and one female) were named as the 2019 Top Troopers.

"We have a unique opportunity at each of the Public Safety Commission meetings to recognize the hard work and lifesaving efforts of DPS' finest public servants who personify what it means to protect and serve their communities," said Director McCraw. "Every day, members of the department work to fulfill our critical mission with selfless dedication, and we're proud to honor them for the exceptional work they do."

Check out this video highlighting the award ceremony.

Trooper Dani Basye, Texas Highway Patrol–Gatesville, and Trooper Aaron Jones, Texas Highway Patrol–New Boston, each received the Javier Arana Jr. Top Trooper Award. Every year, this award is given to the top female and top male competitor who participate in the annual Top Trooper Competition. Now in its eighth year, the Top Trooper Competition was established in 2012, and this award was named in honor of Trooper Javier Arana Jr. who was killed in the line of duty. This year's competition was held at the Tactical Training Center in Florence, Texas, from Feb. 26 through March 1. Eighty-three Troopers from across the state showcased their driving and firearms skills, physical conditioning and endurance, and job knowledge through nine events, as well as an oral interview. Trooper Arana's family helped present this award to Basye and Jones — who earned the top spots in the competition — at April's PSC meeting.

"We are thankful to Trooper Arana's family for allowing us to continue his legacy here at the Department of Public Safety through this award program," said Director McCraw. "We are extremely proud of this year's Top Troopers, as well as all who competed for this prestigious award."

The following awards also were presented:

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