HPD promotions create seven new leaders

HARLINGEN — Earlier this week, the Harlingen Police Department promoted seven of its own.

City leaders, members of the police department, executive staff, fellow officers, civilians, community members and family members gathered to congratulate them on their new positions.

Those promoted were Danny Villarreal, Carlos Cantu, David Osborne, Jaime Palafox, Luis Palafox, Jesus Sanchez and Salvador Carmona.

Carlos X. Cantu has been with the Harlingen Police Department since 1989 and has worked within every division of the department.

He is certified as a Master Peace Officer, TCOLE instructor and Firearms instructor. As a patrol officer, he trained and mentored probationary officers as an FTO, then was assigned to the Support Services Division where in partnership with the HCISD he instructed the DARE program curriculum to elementary and middle school students. He was promoted to sergeant in 1999 and has supervised the records department and jail operations, served as a team leader on the SWAT team and Internal Affairs supervisor.

He was most recently assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division in charge of the Major Crimes Unit, Crime Scene Response Team and Crime Fusion Center Analytical Unit.

In March 2013, he completed the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training requirement to be recognized as a Subject Matter Expert in Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety and has since participated in several implementation workshops across the country.

Carlos is currently working in collaboration with the Texas Department of Transportation to deliver similar workshops specifically to Texas agencies which are looking to implement DDACTS operational model of traffic safety and crime reduction.

Cantu holds a bachelor’s of applied arts and sciences from Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, and is pursuing a master’s in public administration.

He also concurrently served as an officer in the Army National Guard where he was deployed numerous times in support of the Global War on Terror. He retired from the military with the rank of captain in September of 2011 after 28 years of service.

Palafox has been a Harlingen Police Officer since April of 2004. He started his career as a patrol officer assigned to the Uniformed Services Division. He later transferred to the Criminal Investigation Division as a Crimes against Property Unit Detective. Palafox was also an investigator with the Gang Eradication Team. He later transferred to the Special Investigations Unit as a narcotics detective. While assigned to SIU, he was a part-time Task Force officer with White Sands HIDTA and then became a full-time task force officer with the Financial Asset Seizure Team.

His most recent assignment was as a detective in the Criminal Investigations Division.

Palafox is a member of the SWAT team and a member of the Crime Scene Response Team. He currently holds an Advanced Peace Officer Certification, TCOLE Instructor certification and patrol rifle instructor certification.

In 2006, Palafox received the HPD Officer of the Year award and the Cameron County District Attorney’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

In December 2009, Palafox received an HPD Commendation Award and also received a lifesaving award. In August 2011, he received a second life saving award.

After his service in the U.S. Army, Osborne joined the Harlingen Police Department where he served as a sergeant until now. With more than 17 years of law enforcement experience, Osborne has had the opportunity to work in a variety of positions such as patrol officer, detective, training coordinator, internal affairs, highway unit and Public Information officer.

Currently, Osborne is the supervisor of the training unit and is designated by AELE as a certified litigation specialist in employment law.

Jesus “Jesse” Sanchez has been a Harlingen Police officer since April 2006. During his time, he has acquired a wide range of training, experience and knowledge, which include patrol officer, field training officer, evidence technician, Crimes Against Property detective, crime scene investigator, narcotics investigator, SWAT team leader and task force officer for the Homeland Security Investigations White Sands High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.

Sanchez’s experience includes courtroom testimony in state and federal courts. He also has acquired excellent surveillance skills, proactive/aggressive investigative skills, interview and interrogations skills, undercover operations and handling of confidential informants.

He has a great working relationship with local, state and federal agencies.

Sanchez has an associate’s degree in applied science-criminal justice fro the University of Texas at Brownsville. He has received several medals, including a lifesaving award and community service award. He was most recently assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division as an acting sergeant of the Organized Crime Unit.

Sal Carmona graduated from Harlingen High School in 1977 and then signed up for service in the United States Marine Corps. He retired honorably after 20 years of service as a gunnery sergeant.

Carmona started his career in law enforcement in October 2000 with the Harlingen Police Department. Eh served on patrol for five years, as a member of the motorcycle unit for six years and has served in the training and recruiting for four years.

Carmona is an advanced instructor, master firearms instructor, SFST instructor, radar instructor and a child passenger safety instructor.

Jose Luis Palafox Jr. began his career in law enforcement here with the Harlingen Police Department back in October 2004 and he has been serving honorably ever since.

Palafox Jr. began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer working the B-shift. After being in the Patrol Division for several years, he applied to become a detective with the Criminal Investigation Division. He was selected from a group of candidates and was assigned to the Crimes against Persons Divisions within the Criminal Investigations Division.

After three years there, he volunteered to be a member to a new division that was about to open up, the Targeted Response Unit/Gang Unit. After serving with that unit for years, he was transferred to the Patrol Division.

Daniel “Danny” Villarreal began his career with the Harlingen Police Department on April 4, 1997. During his career, he has supervised every division within the department. He currently holds an Advanced Peace Officer certification, Instructor certification and Firearms certification by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

He was responsible for training new recruits on C-shift. He also has served as a patrol sergeant, lieutenant and commander on all shifts.

Villarreal served in a supervisory role over Jail Operations, Support Services, Community Services and was most recently the Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division, which includes the Area Detectives, Major Crimes Unit, Organized Crime Unit, Public Integrity Unit, District Representatives and School Resource Officers.