New DPS Aircraft Named in Honor of Fallen Trooper

AUSTIN, August 2, 2015 – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today commissioned its newest airplane, a Cessna 208 Caravan, at a ceremony in Edinburg. The aircraft was named in honor of the late DPS Trooper Eduardo Chavez, who died in the line of duty in 2006. In addition to Public Safety Chair Cynthia Leon and DPS Director Steven McCraw, Texas state legislators Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, Sen. Eduardo “Eddie” Lucio Jr., Rep. Terry Canales and Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr. also attended the ceremony.

Trooper Eduardo Chavez, who was stationed in Palmview, died in a patrol car accident near the Hidalgo/Starr county line in May 2006.

“Trooper Chavez was a true Texas hero who selflessly worked to make this state a safer place for everyone,” said Chair Leon. “Texas is profoundly grateful for his service and sacrifice, and today we honor his dedication to protecting and serving the people of Texas.”

The Cessna 208 Caravan, which accommodates as many as two pilots and eight passengers, can reach an altitude of 25,000 feet and travel as fast as 210 mph. It features state-of-the-art equipment, including an L-3 camera system with an infrared/color video camera, and a sophisticated mapping system with the ability, for example, to map the area around a fire or assist in search and rescue.

The Eduardo Chavez ultimately will be stationed in Edinburg and replaces two older Cessna airplanes. This multi-purpose, fixed-wing airplane will be used for a variety of public safety missions across Texas, including transporting medical equipment, supplies and response teams during a disaster; aerial observation support; and serving as an aerial command center. The aircraft was paid for with seized funds.

“Trooper Eduardo Chavez proudly dedicated his life to enhancing public safety, and he will always be a part of the DPS family,” said Director McCraw. “Naming this aircraft in his honor is a fitting tribute, since the Eduardo Chavez will support the department’s mission to protect and serve the Rio Grande Valley – just as Trooper Chavez did during his career.”

With the addition of this new airplane, the DPS aircraft fleet now totals 23 – with eight planes and 15 helicopters committed to public safety missions.

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