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SAN ANGELO, Texas — To serve and protect, an oath law enforcement officers take when they’re sworn in. San Angelo Police Department Lt. Mike Hernandez connects to the community he protects through his culture – something that’s very important to him.
“When I go through the front desk area and there’s, you know, Mexicanos or people of Hispanic descent that need some help because all they do is speak Spanish. Then then I have to, you know, jump in and serve them,” Lt. Mike Hernandez, SAPD Criminal Investigations Division, said.
Hernandez is a first generation Mexican-American. His late mother, Fidelia Guerrero, came to the United States from Acuña, Mexico.
“We can’t forget where we came from, it’s what made us who we are,” he said.
Guerrero picked cotton and potatoes in Idaho and had a very long career working as a custodian for the San Angelo Independent School District. Her work ethic is something Hernandez admired the most.
“Because of them coming to the United States to better themselves, I in return wanted the same for my kids,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez joined the Marine Corps and then began his career in law enforcement. His dedication to serving is something he’s passed on.
“Now 32 years on with the police department, I just feel like her legacy continues. Through not only myself, but my daughter and my grandson to come,” Hernandez said.
Guerrero became an influence for many, including her granddaughter, Kelsey Hernandez, who also serves on the San Angelo Police Department.
“We’d get up every morning, go have burritos have breakfast, and then go clean a house and an office, and really just making her proud and having her legacy continue,” Kelsey Hernandez, SAPD Recruiter Public and Information Officer, said.
And, she has a message for the next generation aspiring to join the law enforcement community
“Anybody can do it, my favorite thing now in this position is when a child comes up and their like in a police uniform that’s something that they want to do, especially right now in the season that we’re in for Halloween,” Kelsey Hernandez said.
Hernandez says anyone can do it as long as they stay on the right path, make the right choices and work hard.
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