The National Rifle Association is proud to announce that Agent Clay B. Tippit of the U.S. Border Patrol, stationed in Marfa, Texas, has been selected the NRA 2001 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Agent Tippit, a 16-year veteran of the Border Patrol lies fixed wing aircraft and helicopters patrolling the Rio Grande River between Sierra Blanca and Sanderson, Texas. In addition, he is the 2001 NRA National Police Shooting Champion and the current championship record holder (with a score of 2995 points out of a possible 3000 possible).
Agent Tippit's selection was based on his frequent actions taken to aid person in need, for his contributions to his community, and for his influence on training and individual proficiency with firearms among his fellow Border Patrol members.
In particular, the recommendation to honor Agent Tippit cites his actions on January 22, 2001, when he directed operations to rescue a rancher who had suffered serious injury in falling from his horse. The area in which the rancher, 85-year old Ted Harper, had fallen was Northeast of Presidio, TX, a rugged and isolated area, generally inaccessible except by horseback or helicopter. Agent Tippit flew his aircraft to the area, spotted Harper, then at considerable personal risk due to the terrain, landed and provided first aid. Finally, lacking a suitable means to transport the victim, Agent Tippit directed a second aircraft, equipped to undertake a medical evacuation, to the site and to a safe landing. Harper was flown to a nearby airstrip where he was transferred to a waiting ambulance and taken to the Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine, TX. Due largely to Agent Tippit's prompt and highly professional response, Harper was treated and released after only a few day's hospitalization.
Agent Tippit's contributions to Border Patrol marksmanship need little introduction. In a law enforcement agency with a tradition of individual firearms expertise, Agent Tippit is a standout. He is a two-time (1997 & 2001) NRA National Police Shooting Champion. He has won, at various times, the Stock Semi-Auto Championship, the Service Pistol Aggregate, the Semi-Auto Distinguished Match, and the President's Match. In 2001, he won his fourth consecutive victory in the NRA Special Aggregate, for the Bill Jordan Commemorative National border Patrol Trophy.
In his off-duty hours, Agent Tippit consistently demonstrates the public spirit that is a Border Patrol earmark. He works closely with the youth in the Fort Davis, Texas area, teaching respect for firearms, firearm safety, and marksmanship. He serves, too, as the area leader for the shooting sports for the Fort Davis 4-H. He is currently a certified Texas Concealed Handgun Instructor and a Texas Hunter Education Instructor.
Agent Tippit's personal initiative, persistence, and sense of purpose are truly demonstrated in his pursuit of excellence in his duty, in his continuing efforts to mold the lives of young people in his area, and for projection of a positive image for the shooting sports. As a role model for local youth and for other competitive shooters, he has had a significant impact on the shooting sports and the image of America's law enforcement community. Agent Tippit is a proud representative of all the best traditions of his profession.