AUSTIN – The Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw presentedtwo Lifesaving Awards, one Director’s Citation and one Unit Citation to DPS employees for their outstanding service. In addition, an officer from the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office received a Director’s Award for his actions during an emergency situation.
“Our mission to protect and serve Texas is at the heart of everything we do at DPS, and these award recipients truly embody what it means to be public servants,” said Director McCraw. “Today is a proud day for these officers, employees and their families. The state of Texas is grateful for their continued commitment to fighting crime and keeping their fellow Texans safe – day in and day out.”
The following awards were presented today:
- Cpl. Ronald Holub, Texas Highway Patrol in Gonzales, received a Lifesaving Award for his actions during a life-threatening event involving anther trooper on Sept. 10, 2014. While deployed to Operation Strong Safety, Holub was dining with fellow troopers in Pharr when he noticed that Trooper Kenneth Reed, of Big Spring, was choking. Holub used the Heimlich maneuver to help dislodge the obstruction in Reed’s throat and saved his life.
- Trooper Byron Ivey, Texas Highway Patrol in Lubbock, received a Lifesaving Award and Sgt. Jerry Zamora, of the Lubbock County Sherriff’s Office, received a Director’s Award for their efforts to save the life of suspect.On Jan. 24, 2015, Ivey was transporting a DWI suspect to the Lubbock County Jail when the suspect lost consciousness and stopped breathing. Ivey immediately called for assistance and stopped the vehicle to begin performing CPR. Zamora was the initial first responder to arrive, and together Ivey and Zamora continued CPR on the suspect until emergency personnel arrived. The suspect was ultimately revived and transported to the hospital.
- Amy Herchek, formerly DPS Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division in Austin, received a Director’s Citation for her outstanding contributions to DPS and her division.Throughout Operation Strong Safety, Herchek has been instrumental in ensuring cross-jurisdictional information sharing and coordination. Her dedication and commitment to this effort and her role helped eliminate duplicate work by centralizing and streamlining information to key stakeholders.
- The DPS Austin Crime Laboratory Latent Prints Section received a Unit Citation for their significant accomplishments and dedication to the DPS mission. During the last year, personnel in the Austin latent prints section worked to assist the Garland DPS Crime Lab with its caseload while also focusing on training and lab efficiency. Meghan Blackburn, Stephanie Meek, Jack Flanders, Bryan Strong, Mark Wild, Bonnie Manno, Hilary Keenan, Shana Tucker-Lathrop, Ashley Durham and Amanda Burns were all recognized as part of the Unit Citation.
In addition to the awards above, the DPS Law Enforcement Support Division was recognized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for DPS’ contributions to the National Data Exchange system and commitment to state collaborations in reducing crime and enhancing public safety.
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