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News Release

April 17, 2013

DPS Employees, Texans Recognized for Heroic Efforts

AUSTIN – The Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw today presented the inaugural William P. Clements Award to two DPS employees. Other guests, including officers and civilians at the Public Safety Commission meeting, received commendations for their extraordinary efforts and bravery.

“Each of these exceptional individuals has distinguished themselves, either through selfless service to the state of Texas or courage in the face of danger,” said Director McCraw. “Without question, Texas is a safer place and the Department a better agency because of their actions and dedication.”

Named in honor of the former governor and his commitment to excellence in government, the William P. Clements Award recognizes employees who display exceptional performance throughout the course of their DPS career. The commissioned recipient was Trooper Robert Ben Samuel Dollar, Highway Patrol in Panhandle, and the non-commissioned recipient was Ramiro Valdez, lead evidence technician from the Law Enforcement Support Division in Weslaco.

Dollar began his career with the DPS in 2005 and joined the Texas Highway Patrol interdiction instruction team in 2007. In 2012 Dollar stopped a truck tractor semi-trailer and determined the two occupants were unlawfully restraining and exploiting a 16-year-old girl. The two men were arrested, and the girl was reunited with her family. Additionally, from the fall of 2011 through 2012, he made 59 major felony drug and currency seizures during routine traffic stops. Seizures from those stops totaled more than $1.16 million in currency and drugs worth more than $14 million, including approximately 2,100 pounds of marijuana, 115 pounds of cocaine, and 98 pounds of crystal methamphetamine.

Valdez has worked in DPS crime labs since 1996, and in 2008, he was instrumental in coordinating the construction of the Hidalgo County incinerator site used for the destruction of illegal contraband. Valdez went above and beyond his job duties to help prepare the site for the incinerator, and has continued to vigilantly maintain and ensure security at the site. The operation of this incinerator, aided by Valdez’s efforts, has saved DPS and local law enforcement agencies approximately $3 million in marijuana disposal costs since October 2008.

Additional awards were presented to the following DPS employees and civilians:

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