University Park Police Department

Body of Veteran University Park PD Sergeant Recovered From Lake Tawakoni Thursday

Veteran officer's boat found adrift on Lake Tawakoni; his body was recovered the next day

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The body of a University Park police officer reported missing following a hunting trip Wednesday was recovered from Lake Tawakoni Thursday morning.

University Park Police Sgt. Robert Ramsey left his home to go duck hunting and was reported missing Wednesday morning when he didn't return at the expected time.

University Park police said Thursday that it appears Ramsey had been launching his boat at the lake's public boat ramp when he somehow ended up in the water.

The department said Ramsey's boat was found adrift about five miles away from the launch site later in the day but that it was unoccupied and he was nowhere to be found. Texas State Game Wardens and the West Tawakoni Police Department began conducting search and rescue efforts at the lake Wednesday afternoon but suspended those efforts overnight.

Ramsey's body, police confirmed, was found and recovered at about 11:20 a.m. Thursday. University Park police said the circumstances into how Ramsey ended up in the water are not known.

University Park Chief Greg Spradlin said in a statement that he's known Ramsey for several decades and that he was a credit to the profession of law enforcement. He said Ramsey was the city's employee of the year in 2018, was an avid hunter and loved the outdoors.

Spradlin said since joining the department in 2008 Ramsey has served as a school resource officer and a firearms and defense-tactics instructor and was a "true community servant."

Asst. Chief Jim Savage said Ramsey was recently promoted to sergeant and was currently working as a patrol sergeant on the day shift.

Spradlin's entire statement can be read below:

“Since joining us in 2008, Sgt. Ramsey was a highly valued member of the University Park Police Department. He was a credit to our profession and a true community servant. A former School Resource Officer at Highland Park High School and skilled in firearms, he was the department’s firearms and defensive tactics instructor. Nominated by his colleagues, in 2018 Robert was named City Employee of the Year.” He continued, “I have known and worked with Robert since the 1990’s when we worked together on joint assignments in the twin cities of Texarkana. An avid hunter, Robert loved the outdoors. I would ask you to keep Robert and his family, his friends and fellow officers in your thoughts and prayers. UPPD has already received condolences from partner law enforcement agencies. The support shown is very much appreciated by me and the men and women of UPPD.”

Savage said Thursday afternoon that the department is shocked at the sudden loss and that it's something they're trying to deal with.

Ramsey was married and is survived by his wife, two daughters, a step-son and grandchildren, Savage said.

Funeral arrangements for Ramsey are not yet available. The department said the city is providing counseling for employees should anyone need assistance.

University Park residents have also set up a GoFundMe.

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