Name and rank

JWC Sheriff Oscar Lopez

Number of years with Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department

I have been sheriff for 35 years.

Number of years of experience total. Where?

I started with the Alice Police Department in 1963 and worked there for 14 years before I worked as a District Attorney Investigator for four years.

I have a total of 53 years of law enforcement experience.

What made you want to be in law enforcement?

I knew JWC Sheriff Hasley Wright as a child. He told me when I grew up I should be a cop and he would help me become one. He gave me advise and was a role model.

Does your family support your career choice?

Yes, my family supports me 100 percent. They understand that this career is a 24/7 job and sometimes I have to get up and go. After so many years they have learned to accept what my duties are as sheriff.

What's the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part is working with people and helping them; getting to know the people of this county. I want people to be knowledgeable about the system and how it can help them.

As a peace officer we have to make sure that people are treated fairly and in a professional manner.

What do you believe is the hardest part of your job? Why?

One of the hardest part of my job is to make people understand the duties and workings of law enforcement such as policies, rules and laws that we must follow to ensure the safety of citizens and officers.

The other issue law enforcement has is during our investigation's. People must remember that we aren't like CSI and this is real life. Many people are not forthcoming with us during investigations due to a fear of retaliation by the criminals. We can't solve something in 30 minutes. A proper investigation takes time.