Deputy Bobby Dupree
Bowie County (TX) Sheriff’s Department
Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection Deputy Bobby Dupree of the Bowie County (TX) Sheriff’s Department, as its Officer of the Month for August 2000. Deputy Dupree serves as the department’s K-9 officer.
While working as a carpenter, Bobby Dupree felt that he had a calling to do something more meaningful for himself, his family and his community. He felt his vocation was in law enforcement and at 26 years of age became a reserve officer with the Bloomburg Police Department in rural Texas. After one year he was hired by the Bowie County Sheriff’s Department and has been making a difference in his community ever since. With a soft voice he states, “Some people are called to preach. I was just called to do this.”
In the five years he has been with the Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Dupree is credited with saving the lives of four children, in two unrelated incidents. His voice falters when he speaks about the case of an abducted three-year-old little girl. On a sweltering summer day in 1999, a young mother ran into her home for a split second, leaving her toddler on the front lawn. In that short time, a man on a bicycle entered the yard and abducted the little girl. Deputy Dupree and his K-9 partner, Nikki, were tasked with tracking the suspect into a densely wooded area where the temperatures rose to more than 100 degrees.
After several hours, Deputy Dupree and Nikki located the suspect, an individual with a history of sexual molestation against children and the child was returned to her mother. Deputy Dupree said that working this case was one of the most rewarding, yet most difficult moments of his life. After the long hours of searching for this child in dangerous temperatures, his beloved partner, Nikki died of heat stroke and exhaustion.
Later that same summer, Deputy Dupree noticed someone running from the rear of a local fast food restaurant and immediately became suspicious. He was able to identify the individual, a wanted felon, and learned that he lived in a local trailer park with a woman and her three children. Upon entering, the deputy was horrified by the condition and the stench of the trailer. The door to one room in the trailer was padlocked from the outside and after insisting that the door be opened, Deputy Dupree found three toddlers near death in the roach invested den. Deputy Dupree was able to have the children placed with the Department of Human Services and arrested the mother and her boyfriend for endangering the welfare of the children. He received his department’s Shining Star Award for his work on this case.
Deputy Dupree has made countless narcotic and traffic arrests and his file is filled with letters of appreciation from citizens throughout Bowie County. In March 1998 he received a Certificate of Appreciation from the City Council of Redwater, Texas for his assistance in the evacuation of the people of that community after a poison gas well exploded. The Provost Marshal of the Red River Army Depot cited him for his assistance in helping to train K-9 officers on that post. Deputy Dupree is a member of the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association and he has placed nationally in its competitions.
As a trained traffic/drug interdiction officer, Deputy Dupree knows that there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop. On February 24, 2000, the deputy stopped a vehicle with the intention of warning the driver merely to slow down. As the deputy exited his car, the driver pulled a weapon and opened fire. Although seriously injured, Deputy Dupree was able to pull himself to safety and radio for help. After apprehending the suspect, the authorities learned that earlier in the day he had called his estranged wife and vowed to kill her. When pulled over by Deputy Dupree, the suspect believed he was going to be arrested for threatening his wife.
His injuries from the shooting were so serious, that it will be some time before Deputy Dupree can return to full-time duty. In the interim he spends time with his wife and two young sons and is busy training Sueka, his new K-9 partner. After returning from his first hospital stay following the shooting, Deputy Dupree overheard his older son saying his evening prayers. The six-year-old thanked God for saving his dad. Choked with emotion, the deputy said a silent prayer and thanked God for his family and for allowing him to continue to do the job he loves so much.
“I have known Deputy Bobby Dupree for several years,” says Captain Charlie Thompson of the Bowie County Sheriff’s Department. “In that time, he has proven to be one of the most professional and reliable officers that I have had the privilege to be associated with. I hold Deputy Dupree in the highest esteem and have the utmost respect for him as a professional officer and person.” Lieutenant Lonnie Johnson, shares this sentiment, saying, “Bobby is a team player with the Department and in my eyes, an overall outstanding officer.”
The Police Unity Tour is the official sponsor of the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Program.