DPS Dedicates New Fallen Officers Memorial in Austin

DPS Dedicates New Fallen Officers Memorial in Austin

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) honored the sacrifice of its fallen officers today with the dedication of the new DPS Fallen Officers Memorial and display in Austin. Open to the public, this permanent memorial serves as a place of remembrance for those who gave their lives in service of Texas.

During the annual Peace Officers Memorial Service, DPS Director Steven McCraw and members of the Public Safety Commission (PSC) were joined by special guest speaker Texas Governor Greg Abbott, former DPS Director Lamar Beckworth, State Senators Pete Flores and Morgan LaMantia, as well as families of fallen DPS officers and other personnel.

“It is an honor to dedicate this important memorial to the brave DPS officers who have lost their lives serving the people of Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “DPS officers are the thin blue line that protects our society from danger. Whether it’s their work at the border, in the 254 counties throughout Texas, or securing our college campuses, they represent the best and brightest of our law enforcement community. Today, we unveil a special memorial to every DPS officer and Texas Ranger who has made the ultimate sacrifice for Texas. People who visit this memorial will understand the core values of DPS: courtesy, service, protection. I thank all the DPS officers for their service to our great state and their dedication to law and order.”

“It is an honor to be here today as we pay tribute to fallen DPS officers, as well as their families and friends, in dedicating this new memorial,” said PSC Chairman Steven P. Mach. “On behalf of the Texas Public Safety Commission, I want to extend my gratitude for the tremendous support DPS continues to receive from the public, including the countless private donations that turned the vision of this new Fallen Officers Memorial into a reality. Because of you, there is now a place for generations of Texans to honor the legacy of DPS’ fallen heroes who have paid the ultimate price to protect and serve.”

“As members of DPS, we take a solemn oath to protect and serve Texas, and honoring that oath includes putting one’s own life in danger for others,” said Director McCraw. “The new Fallen Officers Memorial reminds us of the daily risks taken in this profession. I thank Texas Ranger 2023, the Texas Ranger Association Foundation, the Texas Department of Public Safety Foundation and the people of Texas whose donations made this beautiful memorial possible. Your generosity demonstrates Texans care deeply about their state, the rule of law and the people serving them—and this memorial will serve as a testament to what Texas stands for as a state.”

The Fallen Officers Memorial features a 77-foot circle of Texas pink granite with an 11-foot-tall bronze statue of a modern-day DPS Trooper paying respects to a tombstone. Inscribed on the tombstone is the name of the first fallen peace officer in Texas, Ranger Moses Smith Hornsby, who lost his life in 1835.

Surrounding the statue are five separate granite and bronze panels. Three panels narrate the history of the department, each highlighting one facet of DPS’ motto: courtesy, service, protection. A fourth panel is engraved with a dedication of the memorial to the memory of fallen DPS officers. The fifth and largest panel showcases DPS’ Wall of Honor, highlighting all 242 names of agency personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty since the early 19th century.

Designed by Central Texas artist Clint Howard, completion of the Fallen Officers Memorial was made possible by $2.4 million in donations from the public to Texas Ranger 2023the Texas Ranger Association Foundation and the Texas Department of Public Safety Foundation.

Inside DPS Headquarters’ main lobby, visitors will find a new memorial display of individual plaques with photos honoring each fallen officer and non-commissioned employee.

A list of fallen DPS officers since 1823, when the agency first began as the Texas Rangers, can be found here.