After 29 years with the City of Alice Police Department, Lt. Hector Zertuche Jr. announced his retirement.

On Friday, Jan. 11, Lt. Zertuche arrived at the station dressed in his dark blue uniform for his last day. Endless investigations completed, countless reports taken and reviewed, unforgettable moments in nearly three decades are under Zertuche's belt.

Zertuche is a graduate of Alice High School Class of 1986. He attended and graduated from Del Mar College in 1989 with an associate's degree in Criminal Justice.

He began his law enforcement career in December of 1989 working himself up the ladder accomplishing every task he set before himself. He went through seven chiefs and several city managers.

He won special awards such as the Alice Echo News Journal best city employee for three years in a row, the Jim Wells County Leadership Grad in 2004, Optimist Club Police Officer of the Year in 2009, and the JWC 2017 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

"I've reached the top, here," Zertuche stated. "It's time to give others in the department, and those looking to join the department, the opportunity to advance in their career. I've done my part for the community as best as it could be done."

Zertuche has become a major part of the department, many times he is found behind the scenes. He was more than a cop. He became a mentor to his fellow brothers in blue and he always did his best to help citizens with their concerns and questions.

"I'll miss the (camaraderie) and the environment created over the years in such an unpredictable profession," Zertuche said. "I want to thank my wife, parents, children, blue family, friends, coworkers and the community for their support throughout the years."

Zertuche helped the department and the taxpayers save money by always looking for grants that allowed his officers more time to patrol the streets and to purchase equipment needed to protect everyone.

Now, Zertuche will have the opportunity to spend quality time with his family as he looks forward to the next chapter of his life and career.

While his shift with the Alice Police Department is done, his time protecting and serving Texas is not.