Shane Detwiler Foundation provides trauma kits for Liberty County sheriff’s deputies

The Liberty County Sheriff's Office received a donation of trauma kits for its patrol deputies and investigators from the Shane Detwiler Foundation on Wednesday, Jan. 8. Pictured with a mock check representing the amount donated are (front row, left to right) Cyndie Abshire and Cheryl Railsback (Detwiler's mother); (back row) Capt. Billy Knox, Sheriff Bobby Rader and Patrol Capt. Robert Dunn.

Sixty trauma kits designed to treat gunshot wounds were donated to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office last Wednesday, Jan. 8, a gift from the Shane Detwiler Foundation of Chambers County. The 60 kits, valued at a total of $8,000, come with tourniquets, combat gauze, Israeli battle bandages and other items needed to save a peace officer’s life in the event of a traumatic injury such as a gunshot wound.

While it is the hope that the kits are never needed, the May 29, 2019 shooting of Deputy Richard Whitten has shown that Liberty County peace officers are not immune to the dangers of their job despite working in a mostly-rural county.

Capt. Billy Knox and Capt. Robert Dunn were behind the request to the Shane Detwiler Foundation. A month ago, Dunn asked Knox if he knew where they could purchase the trauma kits for the agency’s 50 or so patrol deputies.

“We have a lot of new deputies working here. It’s hard to keep up with who has what gear but I knew we were lacking on this stuff,” Dunn said.

Knox called on Cheryl Railsback, founder of the Shane Detwiler Foundation, to see if the Foundation would be willing to donate the funds needed for the kits. Railsback agreed. The items have since been delivered and distributed to patrol deputies.

Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputy Shane Detwiler was shot and killed while responding to an emergency on July 13, 2009. He was 31 at the time. Following his death, his mother, Cheryl Railsback, started the Shane Detwiler Foundation as a way of coping with his loss and helping other members of law enforcement. (Photo courtesy of the Shane Detwiler Foundation)

“Once we have everything lined out, we should have enough for the investigators, too,” said Dunn.

This was the second donation in the last couple of years to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office from the Shane Detwiler Foundation. The previous donation provided tasers for deputies.

“The Detwiler Foundation really tries to help smaller agencies. We aren’t the 100 Club. We cannot do those big, high-level purchases, but we can certainly help outfit those smaller agencies where these types of things aren’t in their budget,” Railsback said. “We try to help them along with what they need.”

The Shane Detwiler Foundation was founded by Railsback after the July 13, 2009, shooting death of her son, Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputy Shane Detwiler. The 31-year-old deputy had been with the agency for only a couple of months at the time of his death.

Detwiler served in the U.S. Army for four years. After completing his military service, he earned a criminal justice degree from Sam Houston State University.

“While he was there, he decided he wanted to work with the FBI. He had done an internship with them but they weren’t hiring, so he went to work as a game warden and was stationed in Chambers County,” Railsback said. “He had been a game warden for six years. While he was a game warden, he got called to Iraq with the Army Reserve. He went into counterintelligence training and spent a year here before coming back to his game warden job.”

In April or May of 2009, he joined the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office. His schedule there was more compatible with family life, his mother explained.

“On July 13, he was shot and killed answering a ‘shots fired’ call. After his death, I didn’t know what to do with myself. That’s when I decided I had to do something to make something meaningful come from his death, so I started the Shane Detwiler Foundation,” Railsback said.

Funding for the Foundation comes from donations and annual barbecue cook-offs and golf tournaments. The goal of the Foundation is to improve the capabilities of law enforcement agencies in and around Chambers County and to provide scholarships to students pursuing criminal justice degrees at Sam Houston State University.

Knox and Dunn said that without the Shane Detwiler Foundation’s generosity, the cost of the trauma kits would have strained the Sheriff’s Office budget. Knox said calling on the Shane Detwiler Foundation for the donation was the only thing he knew to do.

“I think sometimes people are afraid to reach out for help. All they can do is say no. It never hurts to ask,” Knox said.

For more information on the Shane Detwiler Foundation, go online to

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