Wendt resigns; department down to two full-time officers

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Orange Grove Journal

For the third time in three months, an Orange Grove Police officer has left the department seeking other opportunities, leaving the department down to two full time officers.

OGPD Patrol Officer Jeremy Wendt resigned from the department last week, just one week after Police Chief Arthur Rogers III retired from the department to look into other opportunities.

In his resignation letter, Wendt cites the financial needs of his growing family as the reason he resigned.

"I have a baby on the way and I need to make more money for my family and child," Wendt said. "I am very grateful for all that the City of Orange Grove has done for me in the past, present and future. I have never worked with such good people."

Orange Grove City Council members approved advertising for a new police chief, which will run soon, City Administrator Rick Lopez said.

As part of the criteria for the new chief's position, there will be a requirement that he or she will have to live in the Orange Grove area.

Rogers, a resident of Kingsville, commuted to and from his home for work every day for his five years in the position.

Council members agreed it would be best to have the chief close by, either living within the city, or in the Sandia or lake area.

The council has not decided if it will search for a new officer to replace Wendt at this time, or hold off until a new chief is selected.

Lopez said the city is looking at one officer candidate to fill in at the department on a reserve basis until the new position is filled.