The City of Alice is going on six months without an official police chief. City officials began the search for a new chief when Chief Rex Ramon announced his retirement in September of 2018.
The city currently has Interim Police Chief Aniceto "Cheto" Perez Jr. in charge of the daily duties at the department.
"With other (ongoing) city projects, we haven't had to worry about filing the position," said City Manager Michael Esparza. "Because Cheto's been doing a great job organizing things and getting things done...In the mean time we've had a lot of things we've been working on administratively like water projects, waster water, secondary source water grants and things like that. It's just a little bit of a delay on the search that we're doing, but our search committee, our internal group of people, has whittled down the list a bit."
That list is not ready to be released to the public, but should be in a few weeks, according to Esparza.
In October 2018, 14 individuals submitted their applications for the top position, but as of Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, the city seems to be no closer than when the search began.
Esparza is hopeful that the city will begin interviews in March and is "thinking" that a chief will be named in "April sometime."
As of Thursday, the list of potential applicants was down to 13, after Suzanne Schweenke-Martin withdrew her application due to another job offer.
Raul David Valadez, currently working with the Alice Police Department as a patrol officer. He has a criminal justice degree from Bee County College, also known as Coastal Bend College, from 1990 and received his law enforcement certificate from the Del Mar Regional Police Academy in 1991. He worked with the Alice Police Department from 1992 to 2012 before transferring to the San Antonio Park Police in 2012. He returned to the Alice Police Department in 2015. He has held several ranks as a law enforcement officer including dispatcher, officer, corporal and sergeant. Adan Caro who currently works with Nine Energy Services. Law enforcement experience includes an investigator with the 79th Judicial District Attorney's Office from 2009 to 2011, the Texas Department of Public Safety from 1987 to 2008, and the Alice Police Department from 1985 to 1987. Alan G. Gonzalez is the current director of Criminal Investigations Division for the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Office. He started his law enforcement career in 1995 with the Alice Police Department as a communications officer. He has worked with the Duval and Kleberg County Sheriff Offices, and the San Diego and Alice Police Departments. He has been a criminal investigator, supervisor of the patrol and traffic division, an interdiction officer and a patrol officer. Homero D. Salinas of Harlingen. He has 32 years of experience in the federal agency environment and over 26 years in immigration detention and corrections. Currently, Salinas works at the Port Isabel Detention Center. He has also worked with the Department of Homeland Security in Dilley, Harlingen, Los Fresnos, Willacy Detention Center, Washington, DC., San Antonio; and the US Immigration and Naturalization Service DRO. He is enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard in 1981 and a veteran of Desert Storm. He attended the Corpus Christi Community College and the Beeville Community College, also known as Coastal Bend College. Margarito Perez Jr. has 20 years of law enforcement experience. He is currently working with the Jim Wells County District Attorney's Office as Chief Investigator and is a school board member for Alice ISD. He was a D.A.R.E. Officer from 2003 to 2011 with the Alice Police Department. He was also a patrol officer and a dispatcher with the Alice PD. His education includes Del Mar College Regional Police Academy, Texas A&M University - Kingsville and Coastal Bend College. Enrique Saenz, who is currently a sergeant with the Alice Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division and is temporary the evidence property custodian. Saenz began his law enforcement career in Premont Police where he was a patrol officer and a canine handler. He has worked with the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Officer where he was a deputy, SWAT commander, Lieutenant for the Criminal Investigation Division before joining the ranks at the Alice PD. He is dual commissioned with the JWC Constable Precinct 1 and the Sheriff's Department. Johnny M. Brown with the Nueces County Sheriff's Department. He has over 34 years of experience including several years at the Robstown Police Department where he was Chief of Police from 2007 to 2015. His education includes Del Mar Police Academy, Nueces County Sheriff Training Academy and Calallen High School. Dirk Ronald Budd of Saugerties, New York where he currently works with the Ulster County Sheriff's Office. Budd is a 23-year veteran of law enforcement with the last 11 years as supervisor. He also worked with the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. He has been an undercover investigator, patrol officer, narcotic agent, patrol watch commander and a detective division commander. Sammy Posada from Orange Grove (No resume was turned in) Hector L. Villarreal, who currently works at the Coastal Bend College - Alice teaching Criminal Justice and a patrol officer with the Orange Grove Police Department. He has more than 25 years of experience in law enforcement. He was a special agent and criminal investigator with Homeland Security Investigations in Corpus Christi, and a supervisory border patrol agent with the US Border Patrol in Laredo. Aniceto (Cheto) Perez Jr., the current Interim Chief of Police at the Alice Police Department. Perez has a total of 38 years of experience. He began his law enforcement career as a dispatcher with the Duval County Sheriff's Office. He has been a patrol officer, senior sergeant in narcotics, detective and internal affairs investigation; senior lieutenant of patrol and traffic division, criminal investigations, narcotics investigator and for the last 12 years Perez has been the training coordinator for Alice PD. Henry S. Porretto a 30-year veteran of law enforcement. He is from Galveston where he was the chief of police. Porretto was also the chief of police of Mathis Police Department, and the Galveston Police Department where he climbed the ranks from patrol officer to Operations Bureau Commander and West Isle Communities Commander. Jaime R. Garza of Alice. He has worked undercover operations throughout the United States. He was an investigator for the 79th Judicial District Attorney's Office from 2009 through 2016, and was a special agent with the Kingsville Police Department and their South Texas Specialized Crimes and Narcotics Task Force from 1994 through 2008.