Luxury Coach & Transportation

September 2016

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 15 of 83

14 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR SEPTEMBER 2016 WWW.LCTMAG.COM A look at people, products, events and milestones in the world of chauffeured and charter bus transportation. FOR MORE NEWS GO TO LCTMAG.COM AND FIND LATE BREAKING E-NEWS AND BLOGS ABOUT THE INDUSTRY. LimoScene 09.16 TOP STORY Premier Transportation Stands Up To Serve Fallen Dallas Officers' Families D ALLAS — Twenty-three- year-old Katy Golden and her fiancée live less than a mile from the center of downtown Dallas. On the night of July 7, the sales and marketing coordinator for Premier Transportation never slept, as the flashing blue and red emergency vehicle lights lit up down- town after a sniper killed five Dallas law enforcement officers working security at a public protest. Like many horrified Dallas residents that night, she exchanged texts with loved ones and friends, letting them know she was O.K., while watching non-stop TV coverage. When Katy went to work the next day, she realized her company could do more than grieve and sympathize. "After a tragedy like that, there is a quiet where everyone doesn't know what to do or say," she told LCT. "No one knows how to make it better. I went to (owner Eric Devlin) and just asked him if it would be O.K. if we did whatever we could for the families of these officers who lost their lives. With- out hesitating, he said, 'Yes.'" Golden's colleague, Lori Clark, the global director of sales who had just joined the company two months before, messaged a friend on social media who is an officer at the Dallas Police Depart- ment, and whose husband serves as one, too. "I said, 'My company would like to help with the funerals.' By Sunday, we got our first phone call. The next nine days of my life became a blur." Premier Transportation went into a non-stop, 24/7 fleet overdrive like nothing it had experienced before, not even the icy snowbound Super Bowl of 2011. The company donated hundreds of hours of trips using most of its 100+ fleet vehicles and 100+ employees for the fu- nerals, family needs, and airport transfers related to all five of the fallen officers. They took relatives, friends, and visitors to and from airports, hotels, viewings and visitations, and numerous local destinations. Premier chauffeurs drove vehicles as part of official police escorts and convoys that traversed a metro area gridlocked by sorrow. "The morning after it happened, it was a no brainer to reach out to the DPD as a corporate citizen and show our respects to the city to get through this horrible event," said Todd Davis, operations manager. "We threw costs out the window. No matter what they needed, we would have the best vehicles and people available for these families. With multiple funerals and visitations, we made sure we had the right vehicles and the right people for those families." The Premier staff maintained its professional demeanor as an entire metro area came together to console one another while the news spread: Former Army veteran Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, outraged about police shootings, ambushed and fired upon a group of police officers, killing five and injuring nine others, and wounding two civilians. Johnson was killed when a police robot detonated a bomb near him following a standoff over several hours. What heartened the Premier staff was the fact so many of its chauffeurs volunteered to work for free during the extended service period. The company, By Martin Romjue, LCT editor Amid the shock and heartbreak of five officers gunned down by a sniper, the limousine company drew on every resource it could muster during the city's worst tragedy since Nov. 22, 1963. Scenes from around the Dallas region from Premier Transportation staff who worked the funeral processions for fallen police officers.

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