Game wardens honored for Deweyville flood response

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, July 27, 2017

The News staff report

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith honored several men and women for their outstanding acts of service at the 13th annual Law Enforcement Division Awards Ceremony.

The ceremony recognized Texas game wardens, non-commissioned TPWD employees, first responders from other agencies and members of the general public.

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“We are extremely proud of our game wardens, our fellow first responders and members of the public who exemplify professionalism and service by assisting our citizens,” said TPWD Law Enforcement Division Director Col. Craig Hunter.

“Our game wardens routinely respond during highly stressful situations and are often times the first to arrive during natural disasters or search and rescue scenarios.”

This year’s award recipients include game wardens who came to the aid of first-responders in the aftermath of the Dallas police officer shooting, and following the Deweyville floods in 2016.

Other awardees participated in valuable outreach activities and rescues of stranded and injured boaters. The awards also recognize support staff, who provided valuable assistance to law enforcement activities throughout last year.

Among the highlights of this year’s honorees:

Deweyville Flood Response in March 2016 when flooding along the Sabine River near Deweyville reached historic levels and caused massive damage to nearly 5,000 homes. Numerous Texas Game Wardens and agency support staff converged on Newton County to render aid, conducting 235 evacuations and 149 search and rescue missions.

Dallas Police Shooting Response on July 7, 2016 when five Dallas Police Officers helping to protect a peaceful protest were gunned down and seven others wounded in an ambush style attack. More than 60 Texas Game Wardens and TPWD Law Enforcement Division support staff from throughout the state partnered with local police to provide support and relief for a grieving agency and community.

Additional noteworthy events and actions recognized include the rescue of a motorist trapped in a tree after his vehicle was swept off a flooded roadway into a wooded creek in Tyler County; support following the loss of a coworker in a tragic hot air balloon crash near Lockhart; and a joint rescue of multiple victims in a boating accident in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel by U.S. Coast Guard crews and Texas Game Wardens.