Melissa Ash, The Premont Journal

Recently serving as a Jim Wells county deputy for the past six months, 24-year-old Gabriel Gonzales decided to join the Premont Police Department.

"My wife Jackie and I just moved to Premont," Gonzales said. "We like it here because it's a smaller town and more laid back. I plan on being here for a while."

Originally from Riviera, Gonzales started his career in law enforcement as a jailer for the Kleberg County jail where he worked for more than two years. After that, he began working for Nueces County as a deputy for a year.

"I decided to be a police officer because I enjoy working patrol," Gonzales said. "I really like working traffic."

Police Chief Fidencio Hinojosa says he welcomes Gonzales to the department.

"I did a background check and he was highly recommended," he said. "Gonzales has also shown a lot of initiative and has experience with intradiction. He has been doing a great job and is a good addition to the department."