Gov. Greg Abbott Honors First Responders With Star of Texas Awards

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) will host the 2018 Star of Texas Awards honoring peace officers, firefighters and emergency first responders Tuesday.

The ceremony honors those who have demonstrated extraordinary valor and courage in serving and protecting Texas communities.

"Each year, the State of Texas takes pride in recognizing our exemplary peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical first responders,” Abbott said of the awards in March. "This past year has undoubtedly tested our resilience, but the Texas spirit remains stronger than ever, and that is in-part due to the incredible work of the men and women in uniform serving their communities. These awards allow us to recognize and celebrate those who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe."

Abbott honored the following local first responders.

Chief Moore/Twitter
Dallas Deputy Chief of East Patrol Bureau Avery Moore and Officer Crystal Almeida at the Star of Texas Awards, Sept. 11, 2018.

Dallas Chief of Police U. Renee Hall and Deputy Chief Moore will be present for the award ceremony. Moore will be accepting the award on behalf of Santander.

Arlington's Chief of Police, Will Johnson, attended the ceremony Tuesday with both Strauser and Brewer.

Arlington Police Department
Arlington Chief of Police Will Johnson stands with Cpl. William Brewer, left, and Carla Strauser, right, at the 2018 Star of Texas awards inside the Texas House of Representatives Chamber at the state capitol building.

“I am extremely proud of the heroic efforts and commitment to service that is exemplified by these officers who were injured in the line of duty,” said Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson. “There are inherent risks that our officers face while patrolling our streets and responding to calls yet these officers continue to serve despite the risk of personal injury.”

The governor's office declined to share the list of honorees until after the conclusion of the event.

The ceremony took place at the Texas Capitol in Austin on Sept. 11. A full list of honorees is below.


Firefighters Injured in the Line of Duty

  • William An – Dallas Fire-Rescue – (Dallas County)
  • Mark Mendez – Nixon Fire Department – (Gonzales County)

Peace Officers Killed in the Line of Duty

  • Damon Charles Allen – Texas Department of Public Safety – (Limestone County)
  • Kenneth Malcomb Copeland – San Marcos Police Department – (Hays County)
  • Mark Gregory Diebold – Tarrant County Constable Precinct 5  – (Tarrant County)
  • David Gomez – Department of Homeland Security, United States Border Patrol – (El Paso County)
  • Richard Wayne Hale – Office of Inspector General, Juvenile Justice Department – (Cooke County)
  • Rogelio Martinez – US Customs and Border Patrol – (Culberson County)
  • Miguel Moreno III – San Antonio Police Department – (Bexar County)
  • Thomas Patrick Nipper – Texas Department of Public Safety – (Bell County)
  • Steve A. Perez – Houston Police Department – (Harris County)
  • Monty Dale Platt – West Texas A&M University Police Department – (Randall County)
  • Rogelio Santander Jr. – Dallas Police Department NE Patrol – (Dallas County)
  • David Charles Sherrard – Richardson Police Department – (Collin County)
  • Kenneth Joseph Starrs – South Texas Specialized Crimes & Narcotics Task Force – (Kleberg County)
  • Shana R. Tedder – Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Christina Melton Crain Unit – (Coryell County)
  • Charles M. Whites – Round Rock Police Department – (Williamson County)
  • Elise Ann Ybarra – Abilene Police Department – (Taylor County)

Peace Officers Injured in the Line of Duty

  • Carla Strauser – Arlington Police Department – (Tarrant County)
  • William Cody Brewer – Arlington Police Department – (Tarrant County)
  • Jay Elton Johnson – Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office – (Caldwell County)
  • Jesus Perez Balderamas – City of Selma Police Department – (Bexar County)
  • Robert McMillin, Jr. – Dallas Police Department – (Dallas County)
  • Crystal Almeida – Dallas Police Department – (Dallas County)
  • Juan Hernandez, Jr. – Dallas Police Department – (Dallas County)
  • Bryan Gale Shaw – Dallas County Community College District Police – (Dallas County)
  • John Abbott – Dallas County Community College District Police – (Dallas County)
  • Justin Barrington Gay – Harris County Constable’s Office Precinct 4 – (Harris County)
  • Benjamin Gieselman – Hays County Sheriff’s Office – (Hays County)
  • Terry Mahan – Jack County Sheriff’s Office – (Jack County)
  • Cody Downs – Jasper County Sheriff’s Office – (Jasper County)
  • Roy Tower – Texas Department of Public Safety – (Harrison County)
  • David Nelson Alcantar – Texas Department of Public Safety – (Guadalupe County)
  • Carmen A. Griffith – Texas Department of Public Safety – (Fannin County)
  • Lyndon Jay Smith – Texas Department of Public Safety – (Walker County)
  • Zakary Ray Benge – Texas Parks and Wildlife – (Houston County)
  • Henry Alvarado – Texas Parks and Wildlife – (Jasper County)
  • Vu Bang Nguyen – Texas Parks and Wildlife – (Galveston County)
  • William Frederick Graeber – Waco Police Department – (McLennan County)
  • Danny Gene Shaw – Texas Department of Public Safety – (Dallas County)
  • Mario Casares – Laredo Police Department – (Webb County)
  • David Lee Leal – Rosenberg Police Department – (Fort Bent County)
  • Emory Joseph King – Brazoria County D.A.’s Office – (Brazoria County)
  • Christopher Todd Coots – Flower Mound Police Department – (Denton County)
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