Alice Police Chief Rex Ramon and Lt. Luis Barrera said their good-byes at a luncheon Friday held in their honor for their many years of service.
Ramon got emotional as he spoke to about 75 attendees at the city's safety training center, made up of law enforcement, city officials, current and former council members. Both retirees received a plaque for their years of service. Ramon has 30 years as a law enforcement officer with four years as chief and Barrera has 34 years.
“I loved what I did, I still love what I do, believe me...,” Ramon said as he wiped tears away. “I'd like to thank council who saw something in me...and decided to hire me as chief of police,” he said. “..and that was a great day for me, you know, because I came from the bottom working my butt off – working, working, working and made it to the top.”
Ramon said one thing about being in a leadership position, unfortunately comes the “cheap shots” and rumors about him being a corrupt officer.
“It angers me, upsets me is the word, when people in general when they see a police officer (say) they are making a lot of money...no it's not a lot of money,” Ramon said because of the danger during the line of duty officers encounter.
Despite the challenges of running a police force, Ramon said he did his best and is happy with how he is leaving his department.
“Rex Ramon is up here right now, I'm happy and my integrity is up here too,” he said.
“I'm leaving the police department and we have a hell of these officers...When you wear this badge or patch, it's an honor,” Ramon said.