AUSTIN (KYTX) – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today commissioned the Tactical Marine Unit's sixth and final new patrol vessel at a ceremony in Austin. The boat is named in honor of the late Trooper Scott Burns, who was shot and killed in the line of duty at the age of 39 in Marion County on April 29, 2008.
"This is an historic day for the state of Texas, as the Scott Burns completes a fleet of six state-of-the-art patrol vessels that represent a significant enhancement in department's ability to deter and disrupt illegal activity along the Texas coast and the Rio Grande River," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "Trooper Burns was an avid outdoorsman and loved his job as a DPS trooper. His legacy will live on as the boat named in his honor will join the fight against criminal elements in the state of Texas along the coast and border. It is a fitting tribute to this brave young man who gave his life protecting the people of Texas."
The Scott Burns joins five other 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.
Trooper Burns was fatally shot in 2008 while pursuing a suspect near the intersection of FM 729 and FM 1969, northeast of Lake of the Pines. A massive manhunt ended with the suspect fatally shooting himself as law enforcement closed in on his location.
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 are the Bill Davidson, the J.D. Davis, the David Rucker, the Troy Hogue, and the Russell Boyd. 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; Trooper Hogue was shot and killed in Howard County in 1994; and Trooper Boyd was shot and killed in Waller County in 1983.