Memorial unveiled for fallen trooper in Bell County

Posted at 10:33 AM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 20:11:01-04

A memorial stone was unveiled for a fallen Central Texas trooper on Thursday at the Department of Public Safety's office in Temple.

Senior Trooper Thomas Nipper died last November after a truck crashed into his patrol vehicle on I-35 while he was conducting a traffic stop. Scott Douglas Taylor is now facing criminally negligent homicide charges for his death.

During an emotional ceremony, the Department of Public Safety praised the commitment of Nipper to public service.

"It's clear that the law enforcement it was more than just a job for trooper Nipper, it was a calling. It's our great honor for him to recognize him for his selfishness and bravery as we dedicate this memorial," Department of Public Safety Regional Director Phillip Ayala said.

Tammy Nipper, his wife of 39 years, also remembers him for his devotion to his family.

"He was a wonderful husband and father and his family meant everything to him. He loved his job. He loved to help people," Nipper said.

It wasn't easy for the mother of three and her family members to hold back tears as speakers talked about Nipper's service.

"I'm very proud of him. He did a lot. It's very emotional but I'm very proud of him at the same time," Nipper said.

During the event, State Representative Hugh Shine read a resolution from the Texas House of Representatives about Thursday's tribute.

"A devoted family man, a true friend and a dedicated peace officer, Senior trooper Tom Nipper leaves a record of service will continue to inspire those who knew and loved him," Rep. Shine said.

The memorial is located outside of where Nipper used to work and close from where he answered to his last call for service.

"It means even more because it happened a few feet from here.It has special meaning," Nipper said.

The monument was set at the Texas Department of Public Safety in Temple next to two memorials honoring two other fallen troopers.

Shine said he planned to introduce a legislation to rename part of I-35 in Temple in honor of Nipper.

On Wednesday, DPS unveiled a memorial for Trooper Damon Allen in Freestone County. A group called 'We the People of the State of Texas' led the effort to install both monuments.

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