Mr. Speaker, my friend, Philip ‘‘Duane’’ Steen, has served Texans for nearly four decades in the Texas Department of Public Safety. He is a lifetime member of what is referred to in my part of Texas as the Poe-leece. It is an informal organization made up of my long-time friends in the Texas law enforcement community.

No stone in Texas has been left unturned during his decorated career. From the hills of San Antonio to the flat lands of Houston, he has helped Texans feel safe and secure by defending and upholding the law. His service to the state and to Houston will withstand time. It is an honor to pay tribute to him today as he retires from public service.

Duane graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science before beginning his valorous career with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). His career aspirations began when car trouble led to a ride-along with a DPS trooper as a student at A&M. The two got along like old friends, and you might say that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. In 1981, Duane officially began his career serving the people of Texas. His first assignment was in Denton as a Highway Patrol Trooper.

During his nearly four decade tenure, Duane served the people of Texas through various positions in the DPS. He served as Narcotics Sergeant, Austin; Narcotics Lieutenant, Waco; Narcotics Captain, Garland and Austin, and Narcotics Assistant Commander, San Antonio and Austin. In the last decade of his career he served in Austin as Major, Criminal Investigations Division, later promoted to Deputy Assistant Director, and finally as Region 2 Commander, Houston.

From speeding tickets and drunk drivers to full scale narcotics operations, he was up against some of the roughest and toughest that Texas had to offer. Through it all, he never stopped trying to make the Lone Star state a safer place. He was the type of guy that you wanted on your side because he would not stop until the job was done right.

The impact he had on Texans, Houstonians, and the thin blue line will continue to be an example for generations to come. He may have handed in his badge, but his legacy lives on. His family can rest easy now knowing the most dangerous activity he will be doing is spending most days out on the water with his fishing pole.

Happy Trails to you, Duane. Thank you for a job well done and for all your hard work to make our Texas a safer place.

And that is just the way it is.