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There are a couple of new faces in Mission PD leadership, and four new officers have joined the ranks.
Friday, March 6, the city of Mission and Mission Police Department held a pinning ceremony for the first responders. Families and peers crowded the city hall and watched as the officers were sworn in and city leaders congratulated their loved ones.
Prior to the ceremony, Mission police Chief Robert Dominguez spoke on the role of a law enforcement official in the community.
“We have a responsibility that we should keep close to our hearts,” Dominguez said. “We’re responsible not only for our residents, but the many people who visit our community every day.”
Mayor Armando O’caña congratulated the officers for their work in getting to this level, and said it was important to celebrate the dedication they have for residents in the area.
“Every time they leave home, there’s always a possibility that they’re not going to return,” O’caña said. “They work unselfishly for the citizens of Mission to be safe, and for this community to be known as one of the safest communities in the Rio Grande Valley and state of Texas.”
City Manager Randy Perez thanked the officers and their families, noting the obligations that come with working as a first responder.
“I know it takes a lot of time and dedication, and they sacrifice family time to be here – we appreciate that,” Perez said. “We want everyone to go home safe after their shift, so we continue to pray for their safety at the end of the day.”
Dominguez spoke on what it takes to be promoted within the department, noting that it can take three to five years just to follow the civil service law exam required for promotion. He added that there is a tremendous responsibility as you move up the ranks.
“We have a large population,” Dominguez said. “When I’m on the top of the overpass on Shary Road and I look over and see our entire city, I think of the responsibility I have as the Chief of Police to take care of everyone within the confines of the community.”
The ceremony began with the pinning of Marco Ramirez, who was promoted to Lieutenant. Ramirez thanked God first, and then his wife (who could not attend, as she had just taken a job with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in Laredo), father, sister and sons.
“I’m ready,” Ramirez said, noting supervising is not an easy job. “Leadership is doing what’s right – when I started, I was moved around through patrol, the schools, back to patrol, fleet, records, overseeing dispatch and the jail – now with this, I’ll see where it takes me. I’m up for the challenge.”
Jesus Delgado was named Corporal for the Mission Police Department, and was pinned next. Delgado is replacing fallen Police Corporal Jose Luis “Speedy” Espericueta, who was killed in the line of duty last June.
Dominguez had delayed before hiring a new corporal, and said it was time. 26 officers applied for the position, and Delgado earned the highest score on the required exam.
Delgado spoke on the merits of a corporal, and asked his fellow officers to see his new role in leadership as an opportunity to work together and be open. He thanked his wife and family for their support throughout the process.
“The city of Mission and our department suffered a great loss, and we still have brave men and women who come in here day in and day out and do their job to keep Mission safe, so this is a great honor,” Delgado said. “I’m excited to work along with the other supervisors, chief and administration. I come in every day prepared to work, I don’t mess around and I take my job very seriously – I want to tell the city and everybody that I’m going to give it my best, that’s my character.”
Following Ramirez’s and Delgado’s promotion, four new officers joined the ranks of the Mission PD. Diego Aranda, Adrian Lerma, Erik A. Rodriguez and Abel Zuniga, Jr. were sworn in by the chief and pinned by members of their families.
“It’s always important that we memorialize this occasion, so they never forget this special day,” Dominguez said. “[They’re] going to get old like me one day, and they’re going to retire – when they retire, they can put these pictures up on the screen to see.”