Arlington SWAT Officer Receives Governor’s Star of Texas Award
By Office of Communication
Posted on September 14, 2012, September 14, 2012

History was made today in Austin when an Arlington SWAT officer was bestowed the Governor's Star of Texas Award.

Officer Bryan Graham accepted the prestigious honor from Governor Rick Perry in the chamber of the House of Representatives Friday morning. The 35-year-old husband and father of two children was accompanied by Acting Police Chief Will Johnson, SWAT Team members, Arlington police officers, friends and family.

According to the Governor's office, this is the first time a Star of Texas Award has been presented to an Arlington SWAT officer.

Officer Graham is a 12-year veteran of the Arlington Police Department and a member of Arlington's elite tactical unit, also called SWAT or Special Weapons and Tactics.

Established in 1973, Arlington SWAT officers are trained to perform high-risk operations such as hostage rescues and incidents involving barricaded suspects and heavily armed criminals. They also assist in counter-terrorism operations and serve high-risk arrest and search warrants.

"I love what I do," Graham told reporters during a news conference on Thursday. "And I want to do it for as long as I can. I am thankful that June 5th was not my last operation."

While assisting during a critical incident operation involving a felony warrant suspect and hostage on June 5, 2012, Graham was struck in the head by a bullet. The injury was above his right eye. Graham said his helmet saved his life. The suspect was shot and killed by police.

In the hours and days following the shooting, APD social media platforms were filled with get-well wishes from the Arlington community and law enforcement officials from around the world. Officer Graham returned to service on June 25.

The Star of Texas Award honors peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical responders, federal officers and special agents who make profound commitments while performing their duties. The award was created in 2003.

Officer Jillian Smith was the first Arlington officer to receive the Star of Texas Award. She was fatally wounded in 2010.

By Cheryel Carpenter


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