Texas DPS employees recognized at ceremony for acts of honor and courage

The Texas Public Safety Commission and Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw presented a Purple Heart award, Lifesaving Award and certificate of commendation to current employees and one retiree for exemplary service and honorable actions.

“Today we express our gratitude for these admirable Texans, who acted with honor and courage when faced with extraordinary circumstances,” said Director McCraw in a press release Thursday.

Additionally, Commissioner Faith Johnson was presented with a proclamation of gratitude and appreciation, a Texas flag and was named an honorary Texas Ranger captain in recognition for her service on the PSC since May 2014. Gov. Greg Abbott recently appointed Johnson as the Dallas County District Attorney. Thursday was her last PSC meeting to serve as a commissioner.

“Commissioner Johnson has been an invaluable asset to the Texas Public Safety Commission and I know she will be a steadfast champion of justice in her new position as Dallas County District Attorney,” said PSC Chair Cynthia Leon.

“Commissioner Johnson is someone who cares very much about this state and the people of Texas, and DPS has been enormously fortunate to have her expertise and outstanding leadership on the Public Safety Commission,” McCraw said.

The following awards were presented today:

  • Robert Bourland, retired Texas Highway Patrol, received a Purple Heart award. In June 1990, Bourland was patrolling in Midland County when he saw a truck tractor semi-trailer emitting an extreme amount of black smoke. As a result, he initiated a traffic stop during which the tires of the vehicle became engulfed in flames. When Bourland re-approached the vehicle with his fire extinguisher, the tires exploded, severely injuring him. Bourland recovered from his injuries, returned to duty and retired as a captain in the Motor Vehicle Theft Service after serving 36 years with DPS.
  • Kristi Burchett, Texas Highway Patrol administrative assistant in Wichita Falls, received a Lifesaving Award. On July 1, 2016, Burchett was off duty attending a poolside birthday party when she spotted a child in the pool in distress. Burchett subsequently jumped into the pool and lifted the child out of the water to safety.
  • Margie R. Charles, DPS Driver License Office customer service representative in Spring, received a Certificate of Commendation. On Oct. 27, 2016, Charles reported an attempted bribery situation at the Spring Driver’s License Office. As a result of her actions, the suspect was arrested.