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The Goodnight-Loving Trail (1960)

Texas Department of Public Safety Historical Museum and Research Center

Sound | 1960

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    • About the video
    • The Texas DPS The Texas DPS
    • Col. Homer Garrison... Col. Homer Garrison, Jr.
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    Produced by the Humble Oil & Refining Company in cooperation with the Texas Department of Public Safety, this film uses the story of cattlemen Charles Goodnight, Oliver Loving, and their legendary trail to instruct viewers of the importance of highway safety. Travelers now cross these trails on four wheels, with no cattle in tow, but Goodnight's original path from West Texas to Fort Sumner, New Mexico still exists today, in the form of roads and highways. The film offers safety warnings for modern day travelers along the route, advising them to drive carefully and not to drive while fatigued. Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Homer Garrison, Jr. concludes the film with a message urging viewers to obey traffic laws while on the state's highways.

    Established by the Texas Legislature on August 10, 1935, the Texas Department of Public Safety was created by the consolidation of the Texas Highway Motor Patrol with the Texas Rangers. Since that time, its duties have grown to include such activities as the state licensing of drivers, vehicle inspection, narcotics enforcement, and the State Civil Defense Office, (now the Division of Emergency Management,) which aids local governments during times of natural disaster or social upheaval. While its duties have evolved over time, the mission of the DPS has remained constant - to provide public safety services to those people in the state of Texas by enforcing laws, administering regulatory programs, managing records, educating the public, and managing emergencies, both directly and through interaction with other agencies.

    Colonel Homer Garrison, Jr.'s lifelong Texas law enforcement career began at age nineteen (shortly after graduating from Lufkin High School,) when he was appointed deputy sheriff of Angelina County. In 1930, he joined the newly forming Texas Highway Patrol. When in 1935, the Texas Highway Patrol became part of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Col. Garrison became the new agency's first Assistant Director. In 1938, his role changed to Director of the DPS and Chief of the Texas Rangers, a position he held until his death in 1968. The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum at Fort Fisher is named for him.