Photo caption: TSTC police officer Juan Munoz salutes in recognition of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, which will be observed on Jan. 9. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – In observance of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Jan. 9, Texas State Technical College is honoring officers who are currently in law enforcement, have served in such a capacity, and those who have given the final sacrifice for that profession.

The duty of a police officer is to ensure public safety and to address domestic violence, substance misuse and other important variables.

TSTC Police Chief Eduardo Patino and TSTC Police Sgt. Eduardo Becerra recently shared what is rewarding about a law enforcement career and the importance of protecting a college community environment.

Patino said he always wanted to serve his community.

“I always wanted to give back, but I didn’t know in what capacity,” he said. “When I made the decision, I dedicated my time and effort to impact the lives of others with my service.”

Patino said his job takes dedication.

“There are challenges and expectations that a law enforcement officer must meet,” he said. “Being mentally and physically prepared requires great commitment in order to fulfill our duties and responsibilities.”

He added that the TSTC Police Department’s goal in the new year is to build a strong, healthy, cohesive and resilient police force across TSTC’s 10 Texas campus locations.

“It begins with hiring the right candidate,” he said. “Then we proceed to train and develop that new officer. It’s important that the new officer adopts our core values of excellence, accountability, service and integrity.”

Becerra became interested in law enforcement at a young age

“An officer once assisted my family during an incident,” he said. “I knew I wanted to return the favor as an adult and protect others. Now I’m proud to serve my community.”

Becerra said the TSTC police force has great leadership.

“We conduct regular meetings with our officers to discuss many aspects of our job,” he said. “It’s a joy to be able to perform our duties. The true motivation comes from our leadership, who train us and are a big advocate for success planning.”

Becerra’s advice for TSTC students, staff and faculty is to be aware of the “crime triangle.”

“The crime triangle consists of target, desire and opportunity,” he said. “In order to avoid this, be knowledgeable about your surroundings, be prepared and know your resources. The TSTC Police Department offers presentations that highlight this. An individual can contact us at 956-364-4220 if they have any questions or concerns.”

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was created by multiple organizations in 2015 to express appreciation for officers in the United States.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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