SAN BENITO — They run toward shots fired.
They leap into burning buildings.
They speed to major accidents.
While most people race away from these kinds of scenes, police head toward them.
It’s not because they want to, it’s because they are trained to.
They do it for us, to protect the people – service above self.
They are trained to serve and protect us.
“We know that if we call 911, they will be there,” said Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz.
As chief law enforcement of the county, on Monday night Saenz gave thanks to the police officers and encouraged the community to do the same.
“Even though lately police officers have been picked on and disparaged, I am here to tell you that I stand with you, that I believe in you and that we need you,” Saenz said.
Monday, the San Benito Police Department honored those who have and are currently serving on the force for their 2nd Annual Police Officers Memorial Service.
Different law enforcement agencies from the area, including the U.S. Border Patrol, FBI and city leaders were in attendance to celebrate the dedication of local police.
Every year, law enforcement officials come together to stand in solidarity and salute the fallen.
Over generations, protection and justice have been the responsibility of police officers, said Interim Police Chief Michael Galvan.
Since the establishment of National Police Week in 1962, the United States has lost more than 10,000 police officers in the line of duty.
“Their duty was to serve and it is our duty to remember,” he said.
As the son of a former sheriff’s deputy, keynote speaker Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. knows the sacrifice law enforcement makes.
“I was very privileged to be the son of a law enforcement officer,” he said.
“I was thinking right now, regardless if you’re on the street patrolling, work as a radio dispatcher or work in the office, it’s a team that makes it possible for us to feel safe and sound in our community.”
Lucio’s father served more than 30 years in Cameron County and retired as chief office deputy, working under four different sheriffs.
“We were fortunate to live in a home that not only taught us right from wrong but taught us respect for law enforcement,” Lucio said.