Group proud of effort to provide bulletproof windshields for patrol units after Trooper Walker’s death
Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of DPS Trooper Chad Walker’s death
GROESBECK, Texas (KWTX) - A local group that supports law enforcement on Thursday celebrated progress made to protect police officers in Texas on the one-year anniversary of the day Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Chad Walker died.
On March 26, 2021, Walker was driving southwest on FM 2838 near Mexia, Texas when he spotted a disabled vehicle stopped on the shoulder of the road. As he pulled up behind the vehicle, the car’s driver exited and fired a handgun through the windshield of Walker’s patrol vehicle.
Walker was struck by several rounds and taken to a Waco hospital in critical condition. He died five days later at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, but not before sharing the gift of life as an organ donor.
Immediately following his death, a group called Mutual Assistance Group Inc. in Groesbeck, Walker’s hometown, began efforts to replace the windshields on all DPS patrol vehicles with new, bullet resistant glass.
“When we sat back and looked at it, we got to think ‘you know, that’s a lot of money we would have to raise to cover the entire state department of public safety,” said John Liscano, vice president of MAG Inc.
The Department of Public Safety’s highway patrol division alone has more than 2,000 patrol vehicles.
So, the group, with the help of state representative Kyle Kacal, who represents Limestone County where Walker lived and died, took its cause to Austin.
The 87th state legislature in June 2021 successfully approved $14 million to be set aside for swapping out current windshields with bullet resistant ones for DPS patrol vehicles across the state.
“I would have never thought it would happen. In my mind, it was a feat so far out there,” Liscano said.
With the state taking financial responsibility for DPS vehicles, MAG Inc. focused its attention on local law enforcement agencies. They said they raised about $140,000 during a “Walker Stong” event in June. The group started dispersing those funds to various local law enforcement agencies to help them replace their windshields.
“As of right now, the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office has received their funding, their check. The City of Groesbeck Police Department has gotten theirs. We are still waiting to meet with Mexia PD, Coolidge PD and some of the other smaller departments,” Liscano said.
MAG Inc. said the amount of money they are giving to each local law enforcement agency is based on how many patrol vehicles the department has.
So far, they said the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office has received the largest amount: $60,000. They said the Groesbeck Police Department has received $17,000.
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