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Thursday, July 18, 2024
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McAllen
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Following A Brother’s Legacy, Committed to Serve And Protect

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With a heartfelt and profound desire to serve his community, Miguel Flores chose South Texas College’s Police Academy as the steppingstone to follow in his older brother's footsteps toward an impactful career in law enforcement. Image courtesy of STC
With a heartfelt and profound desire to serve his community, Miguel Flores chose South Texas College’s Police Academy as the steppingstone to follow in his older brother’s footsteps toward an impactful career in law enforcement. Image courtesy of STC
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By Selene Rodriguez

With a heartfelt and profound desire to serve his community, Miguel Flores chose South Texas College’s Police Academy earlier this year as the steppingstone to follow in his older brother’s footsteps toward an impactful career in law enforcement.

Graduating alongside 16 dedicated new police officers, Flores said he is determined to embody “everything that a peace officer should be.”

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STC’s Police Academy recently celebrated the graduation of 16 courageous and dedicated individuals, who received their certificates to become officers of the peace. Image courtesy of STC

“My brother has been a huge inspiration to me. I have watched him throughout his career, and what always resonated with me is that no call is ever the same. There’s always something different happening, someone that needs our help,” he explained. “Watching him grow and come to exemplify a dedicated police officer inspired me to be like him.”

With a nine-year age gap, the 21-year-old witnessed his older brother’s journey from becoming a correctional officer to establishing a successful career with the Pharr Police Department and later becoming a Texas State Trooper.

By the time he graduated from Valley View High School in 2021, there was no doubt in his mind of what his future was going to be.

“I considered pursuing a Criminal Justice degree, but I knew my heart was in policing. Instead, I decided to spend time working on myself, preparing to join an academy as soon as I turned 21, which is one of the main requisites,” he said. “While helping my dad with our trucking business, I also tried to be involved and engage with my community because, after all, that’s who I want to serve.”

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Based on recommendations from his brother and other officers, Flores decided to enroll at STC, discovering that it upholds the highest standards of academic excellence. 

“Everyone advised me that if any institution could prepare me well, it would be STC. It sets the highest passing standards across the Rio Grande Valley, and that’s exactly what I was looking for,” he said. ” STC also provides a significant advantage in terms of academic preparation and knowledge.”

Flores aims to be a community-oriented officer and has already initiated the hiring process with the Pharr Police Department. 

He also plans to pursue an associate degree in Law Enforcement and a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership at STC.

“I want to help my community and grow within the department,” he said. “I’m excited to gain experience and build my career.”

After enduring a rigorous 22-week journey filled with both physical and academic challenges, he graduated as part of the academy’s 33rd cohort, which was recently celebrated in a significant ceremony attended by friends and family.

“As you step out into the world as peace officers, remember that the badge you wear is not just a symbol of authority but a promise to uphold justice, protect the vulnerable and serve with integrity,” said STC Police Academy Instructor Jennifer Rosillo during the ceremony. “Every interaction, every decision, every action you take will shape the trust and safety of our community.”

Welcoming the cadets into the profession, she urged them to continue learning, growing and striving for excellence in all that they do. 

“Remember that you are never alone. You are part of a broader community of law enforcement professionals dedicated to making a difference,” she added.

Michael Vela, a firefighter with the McAllen Fire Department, saw STC’s 33rd academy as a crucial opportunity to advance his career into arson investigation.

“I’ve always worked closely with police officers, so delving into law enforcement has been incredibly enlightening,” he remarked. “As an arson investigator, I won’t be on patrol, but I’m grateful for this chance to explore a different profession.”

With 11 years in firefighting, he now transitions into a role that requires a police license.

“I appreciate STC’s high standards. They ensure that I’m well-prepared to handle any challenges,” he said. It also indicates that everyone here is truly dedicated, putting in the effort to demonstrate their commitment.”

For more information on STC’s Police Academy or other Public Safety programs and training opportunities offered, visit southtexascollege.edu/rcpse/ or call 956-872-4208.

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