Texas Border Business
By Amanda Sotelo
HARLINGEN, Texas – Cristobal Villalon’s childhood dream came true this week when, with his family present, he was sworn in as a police officer at the Texas State Technical College Police Department.
At a swearing-in ceremony led by TSTC Police Chief Eduardo Patino and Justice of the Peace Eloy Cano Jr., the Brownsville native said he has finally found his home at TSTC.
“I couldn’t believe how much the department feels like family,” said the 25-year-old. “It was an honor to be able to share this with my family.”
Villalon graduated from the police academy in Brownsville in June and since had been looking for a department that would be the perfect match.
“I grew up around law enforcement, from my dad to my uncles,” he said. “They were my role models and inspiration for pursuing this career.”
It was through a classmate and now fellow TSTC police officer Ileana Granados that Villalon heard about the vacant position.
“The department leadership and staff is what sealed the deal for me here at TSTC,” he said. “They are knowledgeable, experienced, friendly and very welcoming. I immediately felt like I belonged.”
Patino said when they search for a candidate they look for someone with competencies that represent and align with the police department’s vision and mission, as well as with the college’s core values of excellence, accountability, service, and integrity.
He added that Villalon possesses those qualities.
“By the time I met Villalon, he had already interviewed a couple of times within our department. But we set our standards high, so I knew he had already met them if I was speaking with him,” said Patino. “And the moment I spoke with him, I knew he was the right person for the job. I have big hopes and dreams for him.”
Patino went on to add that Villalon has already been a great asset to the college and is impressed by how quickly many in the college community already consider him a friend.
As for Villalon, he said he is looking forward to serving the TSTC community, keeping everyone on campus safe and ensuring that everyone has security.
“I’m here to protect and serve,” he said. “And I expect to learn great things from my leaders and peers so that in the future I can grow with TSTC and rank as either a lieutenant, sergeant, chief, and even commissioner.