Governor Greg Abbott recently appointed 12 individuals to the Texas Crime Victims' Institute Advisory Council. One of those individuals is Hector Villarreal of Alice.

Villarreal was recently named as the newest site director for the Coastal Bend College - Alice campus and is currently the Interim Site Director of the Kingsville campus as well as the Professor of Criminal Justice and a Master Peace Officer. He is a retired Special Agent, Criminal Investigator with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency. Villarreal earned his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Colorado. He is a volunteer for the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Knights of Columbus. Villarreal received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in criminal justice from Colorado Technical University. Additionally, he received an honorable discharge from the United States Army and Texas National Guard.

“It's an honor and a privilege for me to be appointed to this council. It's one thing to be appointed or elected to a local position, but this is for the State of Texas,” Villarreal stated. “This honor reaffirms that my education and (law enforcement) experience counts for something.”

Villarreal looks forward to making a difference in the lives of crime victims throughout the state as part of the Crime Victims' Institute, which was created in 1995 by the Texas Legislature.

For nearly 25 years, the mission of the Crime Victims' Institute is to conduct research to examine the impact of crime on victims of all ages in order to promote a better understanding of victimization, improve services to victims, assist victims of crime by giving them a voice and to inform victim-related policy making at the state and local levels. This work has established a number of relationships with relevant community, criminal justice, and victim service organizations throughout the state and region.

Villarreal believes he and others on the Crime Victims' Institute Advisory Council can research issues and topics that affect Texas such as the recent shooting in El Paso where a gunman entered a Walmart killing 22 people and injuring 24 others.

“I'll grasp a better understanding of what happens to victims, how law enforcement enforces our laws for these victims and how we can use that knowledge to help our victims and society,” Villarreal said.

His term on the board will expire on January 21, 2020.

Others appointed to the Crime Victims' Institute are Shawn Kennington, Jeff Oldham, Gene Pack, JD Robertson, Andrea Sparks, Abigail Brookshire, Libby Hamilton, Joan Huffman, Scott MacNaughton, James White, and Erleigh Wiley.