Harlingen police commander retires after 30 years

HARLINGEN — He radioed his final 10-42 pulling up to police headquarters as a commander of the force.

“Throwing that last 10-42 was the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” Harlingen police Commander Narciso Noyola said, referring to the “off duty” code. “I will never use the radio again or turn on my lights again.”

What awaited the commander were officers with drawn swords forming a tunnel for him to pass through. It was all to honor his 30 years of service to the force.

“It was the longest walk,” Noyola said. “It felt like a mile even though it was only like 50 feet.”

The sounds of “Scotland the Brave” played on the bagpipes by the Brownsville Firefighters Pipes and Drums set the tone of the engagement.

At the end of the tunnel stood his wife Becky, family and friends waiting to congratulate him and wish him well.

Six years earlier Noyola helped come up with the idea of the Tunnel Honoring Our Retirees.

It has become known as the THOR presentation, honoring the service and work of Harlingen police officers finishing their career in good standing.

Noyola said he is going to miss catching the bad guys.

As a rookie in 1986, Noyola’s first test came at the Atlantis Game room. He was given the order to pull a rowdy troublemaker out of the restroom.

“It was scary,” Noyola said. “I didn’t know what to do.”

He said he relied on his training that day in the game room and he acted on it to do the right thing.

During the next 30 years, he rose through the ranks from probate duty to sergeant, lieutenant and then commander.

He joined the Harlingen Police Department straight out of college.

“It’s been a long, great career, and I thank Harlingen for letting me be one of its protectors,” Noyola said.

He was awarded a plaque from the chief of police for recognition of service.

The Harlingen Police Officers & Law Enforcement Association awarded Noyola with a plaque commemorating the commander for his loyal and dedicated service to Harlingen and the state of Texas.

Noyola also was presented with a retiree badge that his wife Becky clipped onto his uniform.

Police Chief Jeffry Adickes said during the ceremony the proudest day for any warrior is not the day they pick up their sword but the day they lay it down.

Noyola said he would miss chasing the bad guys or going on a hot pursuit.

However, he was ready to go home to his family and spend time with friends fishing and watching football.

“I think anyone who wears a badge for 30 years and places himself in harm’s way deserves the honor he received today,” Adickes said.