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2010-04-28 digital edition

Behind the Badge

Text: T T
A Sincere Thanks
By Larry G. Spence

First of all this week I have to make amends with a certain dispatcher. You may remember last week I wrote about honoring our dispatchers for all that they do to help our department and the public. Well, it seems in my rush to meet a deadline, I rushed through the names of our communication officers and listed our Norma as Norman. Now, unless you have terrible eyesight, it's obvious that Norma is not a Norman, so my apologies to a long time dedicated employee. Maybe now the other dispatchers will quit calling her Norman.

I want to talk a little about awards. When you get in a business such as ours, awards are the last thing you are thinking about. Service is the most important thing. The minute you start putting yourself on a pedestal, it won't be long before someone comes along and knocks you off. It's not about you, it's all about those you serve. This past weekend my wife Vicenta and I were both surprised and honored to receive at the Chamber of Commerce banquet, the Mr. & Mrs. Raymondville award. Someone once said," I would rather have someone ask why they haven't built a statue in my honor than why they built one." Awards are nice but someone will sooner or later will ask, Why?"

I will have been in law enforcement 43 years come this June, thirty-three of them in Willacy County, and twenty-five of them as Sheriff. My career has been about service, trying to give back to the community as much as possible. That's just part of the job, or it should be. We, in law enforcement, have a motto, "To Serve and Protect," and we try to do that to the best of our ability with what we have been given to do the job. I am a Lions Club member, and have over 30 years perfect attendance. The Lions motto is "We Serve." Service is the most important part of our jobs and should be in our lives as well.

My wife, Vicenta, taught school for 30 years before retiring. Service has been a large part of her life as well. Now she is working at the local detention center assisting employees through her position in Human Resources. As Christians we live by the "Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." When you put others first before yourself, then your life is blessed and you become a blessing to others. When you finally realize that life isn't just about you, it's about what you can do for others, then your life begins to take a turn for the better.

On behalf of our family I would like to thank whoever nominated us for this honor and thank the Chamber for making it possible. I also want to congratulate the other deserving winners as well. As for those who may say, "You don't deserve this award," I’ll just close by saying, I have high blood pressure and hemorrhoids and I don't deserve those either.

2010-04-28 / Editorial & Columns

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