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Nine new civil servants joined the city of Mission, and two current civil servants were promoted this week.
The city of Mission police department and fire department each held a pinning ceremony for new officers and firefighters, and promoted a new captain and deputy fire chief. Each ceremony, held on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, celebrated their new inductees with family, friends and fellow civil servants.
“This is one of our proudest moments in the city of Mission, when a new employee starts their professional life in civil service,” O’caña said. “We’re very proud of them.”
O’caña said the mission statement for the city includes providing exceptional customer service to all members of the community, and they were honored to have new members in the ranks of the PD and FD.
City Manager Randy Perez was also in attendance during the pinning ceremonies, and thanked the civil servants and their families for the sacrifices they make daily.
“It really is a happy day for Mission, this is something our department is very proud of,” Perez said. “Our priority is to keep our community safe, so I thank you all for allowing them to serve the city of Mission. We appreciate the families that support their loved ones here with us. It really is a blessing.”
Perez said that Mission’s number one priority is to have their civil servants home safely every day.
“That’s what we practice here,” Perez said. “The community feels safe day in and day out, and we’re told that our community is one of the safest to live in and be part of, so I thank you all for taking part in that.”
Mission Police Department
Police Chief Robert Dominguez swore-in the six officers who joined the ranks of the Mission Police Department. He said he was glad there were plenty of people there to support them on their new career paths.
“Welcome to our law enforcement family,” Dominguez said. “That’s one of the things that I always like to mention because it’s a very different situation when you have a loved one that becomes an officer.”
The officers pinned on Friday were Matthew Alexander Bentsen, Ivan Bravo, Noe Hernandez, Eluid Moreno, Jr., Eleocadio Reyna III and Pedro Ybarra. Dominguez spoke highly of the men.
“I like to record these occasions, because in the coming years, when they reach their 30th or 35th year of service and they’re ready to retire, one of the first pictures they can put up is going to be from this important day,” Dominguez said. “As you go along, you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to fall, get yourself up, dust yourself off and move on. Mistakes are how you learn. This profession does that to you.”
Dominguez also mentioned the recent tragedy that the police department underwent: the loss of Lt. Corporal Jose Luis “Speedy” Espericueta, who was shot in the line of duty earlier this year. Dominguez spoke on the special connections formed when officers join the ranks of a police department.
“There’s a special situation of bonding,” Dominguez said, speaking to the families and loved ones of the six officers. “I want you to know that the doors are open at our department any time, for anything that you need as well. There’s a danger that we have in our profession every day, but we all work together to make sure we take care of each other.”
Dominguez reminded the officers that they are there for one purpose: to take care of the residents in the community.
“The arrest, the issuing of the citation, that comes with the occupation,” Dominguez said. “But the most important thing is to take care of the citizens in our respective community.”
“I’m glad to see their families are here to show their respect and honor for their loved ones,” Sanchez said.
The three men who joined the Fire Department as firefighters were Robert Martinez, Mark Reyes and Gilbert Moreno. The two who were promoted are Captain Joel Saenz and Deputy Chief Chris Navarette.
Sanchez said that the new firefighters have been on probation for the last year, and have been operating under assigned lieutenants and given tasks to build their skills before joining the fire department.
“That’s how we as the fire department handle our operations,” Sanchez said. “Some of these individuals have come from other departments, and each department has their routines. By doing this, they learned how the Mission Fire Department operates.”
Sanchez said there is a lot of responsibility that comes with being a firefighter.
“These individuals are the ones that are up front in serving the community and protecting life,” Sanchez said. “So, this is the start of their careers here, and they bring experience to our department as well.”
Following the pinning ceremony for the new firefighters, Sanchez promoted Captain Joel Saenz and Deputy Chief Chris Navarette. Sanchez said that even more responsibility is taken on when becoming a captain and moving up the ranks in the department.
“It’s a new challenge,” Sanchez said, before asking the men if they were ready for the new tasks before them.
Saenz and Navarette both said they were up for what comes next.
“I was born ready,” Saenz said.
This article originally appeared in the Friday Sept. 27, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.