To serve and protect: TSTC swears in new police officer

Walberto Villarreal was inspired to pursue a career in law enforcement when as a little boy he would watch his father put on his security guard uniform.

And this week his dream of becoming a police officer was realized when he was sworn in to the Texas State Technical College Police Department.

“I’m happy to be here at TSTC,” said Villarreal. “From the moment I stepped on campus, I could feel this was the place for me. So when the offer to be on their force was extended, I accepted it. It’s an honor.”

The Brownsville native was sworn in during a ceremony by Judge Eloy Cano Jr., with his family, colleagues and friends as witnesses to the prestigious event.

“I’m so excited to have Villarreal on our team,” said TSTC Police Chief Eduardo Patino. “He possesses all of the qualities we look for in an officer.”

Patino said that in addition to skills and experience, TSTC police officers must observe and practice TSTC’s core values of excellence, integrity, accountability and service.

“We support our policing principles and TSTC’s mission,” said Patino. “It’s important that we introduce these values and our new officers to the community we serve. And it was Villarreal’s character, eagerness to learn and self-discipline that stood out above the rest. We have no doubt that he will succeed in our department.”

Prior to arriving at TSTC, Villarreal worked as a detention officer in Bayview, where he said he received his first look into law enforcement.

“This really was a stepping stone for me,” said the 31-year-old. “This is when I knew for sure that law enforcement was the field for me.”

Villarreal went on to graduate from a local police academy, and he was determined to set a good example for his 3-week-old son.

“It was my father who inspired me to pursue law enforcement. Because of him, I am who I am,” he said. “I would watch him every day, which is what all kids have to do to learn. And I hope that I’m able to be a great inspiration to my son also.”

Villarreal’s goal as part of the TSTC Police Department is to serve and protect his campus and community, continue learning and growing, and gain experience that will help him better serve.

TSTC Provost Cledia Hernandez said of the police department and its officers, “We are appreciative of the service each and every officer provides to our campus and community. It is an honor to have them with us. They are the ones that make our campus feel safe.”

TSTC prides itself on being a great place to work and offers competitive pay and a full benefits package. To search or apply for available jobs, visit tstc.jobs.