ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Division Highway Patrol Commander in Abilene is this year’s recipient of the Melvin Martin First Responder Award, not only for his dedication to public safety but also for being a friend to those around him. 

Captain Doug Farber was given this award at a meeting hosted by the Kiwanis Club on Wednesday. Friends and first responders praised Doug Farber for his dedication to ensuring the smooth operation of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and his willingness to risk his life for the job.

“When there’s a disaster… Doug is one of the first guys they call to that location to take over because he’s so good at it,” said Lieutenant Colonel Joe Longway, the DPS Regional Director of the Northwest Texas Region. 

Farber has served as the Division Highway Patrol Commander in Abilene since 2006, but he has been with DPS for 38 years. Melvin Martin, the former Abilene Police chief, after whom the award was named, shared some of his insights.

“One of the nicest guys I have ever met in law enforcement,” Martin explained. 

Several people at the Kiwanis meeting spoke about what Captain Farber has accomplished throughout those years of service, including his work during the Mesquite Heat fire. 

“He had his troops out there, directing his troops at the fire,” said Martin. 

Martin shared that, most importantly, Farber has brought those around him closer together, including his troops. While he said he could not imagine anyone else receiving the award this year, Farber said he disagreed from the moment Martin told him about it.

“At that time, I really didn’t feel deserving,” said Farber. “I think something came from God telling me, ‘Hey, just be thankful.'” 

As those around him recognized his kindness to the Abilene community, President of the Kiwanis Club of Abilene Faye Dotsonthe wrapped up the meeting with a call to action. 

“I hope that you will go out, and you will also make a difference as you touch the lives of other people in all that you do,” said Dotson. 

The Kiwanis Club will donate $1,000 to a non-profit of the award recipient’s choice. Captain Farber selected Surviving Families of Fallen Soldiers to receive the donation.