40 years of service: Longtime officer honored for his dedication

HARLINGEN — Don Duncan started working in law enforcement at the age of 17 in Harlingen, where he worked his way from the Harlingen Police Department to the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department.

“I worked my way up to the captain’s position there. I was in charge of the criminal and patrol division. After that I was called to do a criminal justice elective in San Antonio,” Duncan said.

He then came back to the Rio Grande Valley to continue working in what he says makes him the happiest.

Duncan was chosen to head the department of public safety for Valley Baptist Medical Center.

“I supervised over 250 officers, and I did that for a number of years. But my main desire, and it still is today, is to serve the people in law enforcement positions,” he said.

“I intend to carry that out in the future in the state of Texas and for the wonderful people of Cameron County,” Duncan said.

He was recently presented with a proclamation from state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. for his 40 years of service in public safety.

Duncan feels proud and grateful for the recognition, and at the same time he wants to emphasize law enforcement is important and officers take pride in their work.

“I want to show the people there are some folks that do take it seriously, and we do a good job. It’s a hard job, but we do it for the pride that is in there and for protecting the people,” Duncan said.

“It has been beneficial to serve everyone in my capacity as a police officer,” he said.

The award came as a pleasing surprise to him, he said.

“I feel pretty special to have been able to get this. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication and love for helping the people to make something like this possible,” he said.

Currently, Duncan is a reserve officer for Cameron County Constable Precinct 1.

He plans to continue working for as long as he can.

“In order to serve the people of Cameron County for as long as the Lord permits. I am going to be here until I feel I have done everything I can do,” Duncan said.

He would like to start a cadet program for seniors in high school who could possibly be thinking of dropping out.

“I want to keep them in school, and let them ride along with the police and see what it is like to try to keep them from going on the wrong side. That is very important now-a-days,” he said.

From the way Duncan speaks, he has enjoyed every moment of his 40 years of service.

“I truly enjoy working with and for the people and I will continue to do that,” he said.

ecavazos@valleystar.com