Sheriff Oscar Lopez received a proclamation from State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa during Jim Wells County annual Christmas party on Tuesday.

The sheriff was honored for receiving the Tom Tellepsen Award in July 2015, one of the highest awards a Texas sheriff can obtain.

Lopez has been serving the community for more than 50 years when he first joined the Alice Police Department as a patrolman.

During his tenure as sheriff, Lopez has increased his department from 16 to 36 deputies, implemented programs for youth, created a training academy and a fully operational SWAT team.