AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott honored dozens of first responders Friday during the Star of Texas Awards in Austin.

The awards were created in 2003 after House Bill 1937 was signed into law. It aims to “honor and commemorate individuals who made profound commitments while performing their duties as peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical first responders,” a press release from Abbott’s office said.

The same bill also designated Sept. 11 of every year as Texas First Responders Day.

Abbott presented the award to 46 first responders at the ceremony on Friday.

“I cannot express the gratitude we have for all you do to keep our communities safe,” Abbott said. “You have a governor who will always have your back because Texas will always support our law enforcement officers and first responders and their families. You represent the very best of Texas, and we are grateful for the risks you take every single day to keep us safe.”

Abbott gave his remarks at the Shoreline Church in Austin.

The first responders who were honored include:

  • Officer Paul Manning Beller
  • Officer Matthew Steven Brazeal
  • Sergeant Christopher Charles Lewis Brewster
  • Officer Ismael Chavez
  • Officer David Coffie
  • Officer Bradley Christopher Colman
  • Deputy William Christopher Dickerson
  • Paul Jude Dufour
  • Corporal Jose Luis Espericueta, Jr. 
  • Corporal James Farmer
  • Officer Wesley Fikes
  • Deputy Joshua Garcia
  • Officer Abel B. Garza
  • Officer Edelmiro Garza, Jr.
  • Firefighter Nicholas Gustavo Granados
  • Corporal Lonnie Bruce Harrison
  • Deputy Peter John Herrera
  • Billy Ray Hollings
  • Captain Frazier Lee Holbert
  • Officer Richard Hudson
  • Captain Ronald J. Janek
  • Officer Jason Michael Knox
  • Officer Michael Lamar Love
  • Deputy Sheriff Eddy Luna
  • Firefighter Larry Wayne Marusik
  • Officer Alan Michael McCollum
  • Deputy Odell McDuffie, Jr.
  • Officer William James McKeon, Jr.
  • Officer Lloyd Charles Morrison II
  • Officer Justin Philip Mueller
  • Officer Zack Owens
  • Officer Mitchell Aaron Penton
  • Officer William Matthew Phipps
  • Officer Justin Read Putnam
  • Deputy Sheriff John Andrew Rhoden
  • Officer Colby Felix Rodgers
  • Officer Frederick Rubin
  • Corporal James Tom Santana
  • Lieutenant Stacy Paul Seymore
  • Officer Franco Stewart
  • Sergeant Kalia Marie Sullivan
  • Trooper Juan Rojas Tovar
  • Trooper Chad Walker
  • Firefighter Stephen Bernard Washington
  • Deputy Richard Edward Whitten
  • Corporal Ted Yelley