Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) game wardens recently dedicated a new patrol vessel in a ceremony at their boat facility near Laguna Vista.
The boat was named in honor of game warden Wesley Wagstaff who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a poaching call in Hardin County in August of 2003.
Texas State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. attended the event. Today we honor a fallen hero, game warden Wesley Wagstaff who was killed in the line of duty a few years ago, and they named this vessel behind me after him It a wonderful tribute to a very dedicated young man, Lucio said. The family of the fallen warden was in attendance for the special dedication, and his widow, Elena Wagstaff Kelley was grateful for the honor. It is a very special moment, and again as I said earlier that Wesley has been gone from us for five years now, and it really means a lot to the family to remember him still after five years, she said. The patrol vessel is specially designed for high speed pursuit and the 29-foot boat is valued at a quarter of a million dollars.
Capt. Ken Baker with TPWD TMs regional office in Brownsville said more patrol boats would be named after fallen game wardens. There are five brand new law enforcement boats that the department has bought and this is the first vessel, Baker said. The rest should be ready by the end of the year, and each vessel will be named after a warden that was killed in the line of duty.