New boat will patrol Rio Grande River, Intracoastal Waterway
AUSTIN - The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today commissioned the Tactical Marine Unitís fifth new patrol vessel at a ceremony in Austin. The boat is named in honor of the late Trooper Russell Boyd, who was shot and killed at the age of 25 in Waller County on October 11, 1983. Trooper Boyd was shot after pulling a suspect over for speeding on S.H. 6 north of Hempstead, Texas. The suspect, who had already killed two people before shooting the trooper, killed a total of six people before he was captured.
“It is a fitting tribute that this patrol vessel, which will serve on the front lines in the battle against crime here in Texas, will bear the name of this brave young man, who gave his life protecting the citizens of the state of Texas,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “The Russell Boyd will join the fleet of DPS patrol vessels that will significantly enhance the department’s ability to deter and disrupt illegal activity along the Texas coast and Rio Grande River.”
The Russell Boyd is the fifth of six 34-foot shallow water interceptors that will ultimately patrol the Rio Grande River and the Intracoastal Waterway. Each vessel is named in honor of a DPS officer killed in the line of duty.
The black and white patrol vessels are equipped with advanced law enforcement technology, including multiple automatic weapons for self-defense, ballistic shielding and night vision capabilities. The six patrol vessels are funded by the Texas Legislature and federal homeland security grants.
The other boats that have been commissioned to date are the Bill Davidson, the J.D. Davis, the David Rucker and the Troy Hogue. Trooper Davidson was shot and killed in Jackson County in 1992; Trooper Davis was shot and killed in Lubbock County in 1980; Trooper Rucker was shot and killed in Cameron County in 1981; and Trooper Hogue was shot and killed in Howard County in 1994.
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