The Texas Department of Public Safety today honored eight Texas law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty during the past year. The lives of these officers, including DPS Highway Patrol Trooper Javier Arana Jr., who was killed in a two-car collision in El Paso March 24, were recognized at the DPS Peace Officer Memorial Service in Austin.
“The fallen peace officers we honor today, including DPS Trooper Javier Arana Jr., willingly took an oath to serve and protect their communities at all costs,” said DPS Director Steve McCraw. “Their commitment to protecting the lives of others cost them their own, and there is no greater sacrifice than that. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, and we will never forget the service, bravery and sacrifice of these heroes.”
Texas Sen. Steve Ogden, the guest speaker at the ceremony, as well as various other state officials and family members of fallen officers attended the service. Mrs. Cindy Arana, the widow of Trooper Arana, placed a wreath at the DPS Memorial Wall during the ceremony. The DPS Peace Officer Memorial Service is one of many memorial services scheduled across the nation honoring fallen law enforcement officers during National Police Week.
The following Texas officers were honored at today’s memorial service:
Officers killed feloniously in 2011:
• Sergeant Kenneth Vann Sr., Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, was killed in an ambush while stopped a red light on May 28, 2011.
• Officer Bryan Hebert, Beaumont Police Department, was killed when his patrol car was intentionally struck by suspect during a pursuit on July 8, 2011.
Officers killed accidentally while performing their duties in 2011:
• Officer Kevin Will, Houston Police Department, died after he was struck by a drunk driver on May 29, 2011.
• Deputy Charles VanMeter, Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office, died in a traffic crash on June 26, 2011.
• Sergeant Mark Scianna, Bexar County Constable’s Office - Precinct 3, died in a traffic crash on August 27, 2011.
• Corporal Kevin Aigner, Travis County Constable’s Office - Precinct 2, died while assisting residents devastated by a wildfire on September 10, 2011.
Officers killed feloniously in 2012:
• Senior Officer Jaime Padron, Austin Police Department, was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend a suspect on April 6, 2012.
Officers killed accidentally while performing their duties in 2012:
• Trooper Javier Arana Jr., Texas Department of Public Safety, died in a two-vehicle traffic crash on March 24, 2012.
DPS also paid tribute to Howard Lee Lombard, a DPS employee for the Law Enforcement Support Division, who died April 4, 2011, while preparing a DPS mobile command center for deployment to a border mission. His wife, Linda Lombard, is also a DPS employee and attended the ceremony.