Shenandoah Police Chief Raymond Shaw has been named as a 2017 recipient of the Star of Texas Award which honors all Texas fire responders who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty. Shaw joined the list of 474 brave Texans previously honored in a ceremony held Sept. 11 at the Capitol with Governor Greg Abbott.
In 2003, the award was created by House Bill 1937 to honor selected first responders who made profound commitments while performing their duties. This bill also designated September 11 as Texas First Responders Day, the date of the presentations each year by the Texas governor on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives. In 2005, the Star of Texas statute was amended to include all peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical first responders who were seriously injured or killed after September 1, 2003. In 2007, HB 1164 again amended the statute to include law enforcement officers or special agents seriously injured or killed while assisting a state or local law enforcement agency. Finally, in 2013, the statute was amended to include all citizens who were seriously injured or killed while assisting Texas first responders.
Nominations are submitted to an advisory committee for each of the three first responder categories. Committee members are appointed by the governor and review the nominations each year to ensure they meet the statutory criteria. In opening the application process this year, Governor Abbott said,” We can never say thank you enough to those who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. The Star of Texas Awards offer an opportunity to showcase the true valor of the brave men and women who serve in Texas communities and I look forward to honoring them.”
Chief Shaw clearly exemplifies that valor. In the early morning hours of Dec. 20, 2010, then Shenandoah Police Sergeant Raymond Shaw was intentionally struck by an ATV that was fleeing from a Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy. The ATV had been spotted illegally operating in Shenandoah off Research Forest. As the male driver and his female passenger were approached, they fled toward the residential area of Shenandoah where Shaw later located the ATV. When the suspects spotted Shaw, they changed course and headed back towards Research Forest and found it blocked by the deputy. They turned around and headed directly at Shaw who had exited his vehicle. The suspect intentionally accelerated and ran into Shaw, throwing him to the ground and flipping the ATV. Shaw attempted to give chase but found that his leg had been seriously broken in multiple places and his shoulder was fractured. The suspects were able to get back on the ATV and flee through the neighborhood. Shaw was transported to Hermann Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery and went through a lengthy recovery process before returning to work.
Joseph Charles Lynch pleaded guilty to the offense of aggravated assault of a peace officer and was sentenced to confinement for 10 years in the case titled State v. Joseph Charles Lynch on Jan. 26, 2012.
Assistant Chief Barry Gresham nominated Shaw, under whom he has worked the past 11 years at the Shenandoah Police Department. In making the nomination, Gresham noted that although Shaw will suffer the rest of his life from an intentional act, he has continued to serve his community. “Chief Shaw … is one of the finest men this author has ever known. To his credit, Shaw is a courageous, fierce and professional leader where every man who serves under him would gladly step in front of a bullet for him.”
In awarding this year’s 42 awards, Governor Abbott commented, “These remarkable Texans exhibit bravery typical of all Texas first responders who have given their all to save all of us. When others ran for safety, their protectors ran to save them.”