Son of Trooper Karl Keesee graduates from DPS Academy

AUSTIN - The son of the late Brownwood Department of Public Safety Trooper Sgt. Willliam “Karl” Keesee is following in his father’s footsteps and graduated from the DPS Training Academy during a ceremony in Austin Friday.

Trooper Johnny Karlton Keesee was among 122 recruits who graduated at the ceremony at Shoreline Church in Austin.  He joined the ranks 27 years after his late father did in 1990.

His father, Sgt. William “Karl” Keesee, died in the line of duty in an accident on U.S.  Highway 84 in Mills County on Oct. 29, 2015. Sgt. Keesee was driving southbound on U.S. Highway 84 near Goldthwaite when his patrol vehicle left the roadway, traveled over the guardrail and into a creek bed.

Karlton Keesee, 27, graduated from Early HIgh School in 2008. He decided to go into the DPS academy in May of 2014. He has been attending the academy since January.

His mother Darla attended the ceremony and said she felt her late husband’s presence there.

“Karl knew that was what he was planning on doing,” she said following the ceremony. “He was very proud and we were so glad he knew that.”

Karlton Keesee’s wife, Hillari, who is expecting their second daughter, and 15-month old daughter Kaebri were in attendance at the ceremony as was his sister, Karesa.

And on Friday, when her son Karlton Keesee graduated, just two days before Father’s Day, she was very proud.

“I couldn’t be any more proud of him,” she said.

Sergeant Keesee received numerous awards during his 25 years of service, including Department and Investigative Excellence Award, DPS and Directors Life Saving Award. He was recognized by the Texas Judicial System as Certified Crash Reconstructionist and was Department Instructor for crash schools and served as a Field Training Officer. He was a member of the Department Public Safety Officers Association and the Department of Public Safety Quarter Century Club for his over 25 years of service.

A lifetime resident of this area Sergeant Keesee was a member of the Austin Avenue Church of Christ and enjoyed hunting, fishing, being a handyman but, above all this his greatest love was for his family that he always put first.

Keene joined the DPS in 1990 and was stationed in Brownwood. He was the 217th DPS officer to die in the line of duty since 1837.

Trooper Karlton Keesee will be stationed in Waco and reports for duty on July 9.