After nearly five months with only Bangs Police Department Chief Jorge Camarillo patrolling the streets, he can rest a bit easier knowing his city is in safe hands.
The city of Bangs recently hired three new officers and Camarillo, who served as the city’s lone member of law enforcement since April, believes each new member’s unique training allow them to make the most of their four-man department.
“It was a lot of long days and long nights, months with no days off,” Camarillo said. “It was a 24-hour day, every day back-to-back. I had to make the right choice in who I hired. Obviously, I needed people with experience but I also needed people with common sense and are trainable. I think I got a pretty good group. Hopefully, they’ll stay because I don’t want to pull those long hours again.”
Clad in their freshly pressed, new uniforms officers Sam Sadler, Cody Cudron and Corey Lockett made their first patrols as members of the Bangs Police Department. Sadler brings with him a wealth of experience from decades of service with the U.S. Board Patrol until retiring in 2014. Cudron comes to the BPD after serving with a department in the Houston metropolitan area and Lockett joins the BPD after serving in the armed forces as a military police officer and came to Bangs by way of El Paso, where he worked as a school resource officer. With officers having more face-to-face interactions with citizens than larger major metropolitan departments, Salder, Cudron and Lockett face a unique challenge, but with their varied training it’s a challenge they believe they can be overcome.
“I genuinely care about people and making sure I’m doing the right things for the right reasons,” Cudron said. “Being in a smaller town, I feel like my voice is heard much easier and I can effect change much easier. It’s a matter of getting out there, getting to work and showing people we’re not always who the media portrays us to be. There are so many good officers out there and in a smaller community it’s easier for me to show that.”
For Camarillo, the new hires mean a new era for the Bangs Police Department. Although bearing badges and making patrols independent of a direct supervisor, he said Sadler, Cudron and Lockett have much to learn about the community despite its size and the real training has just begun. After all, he believes Bangs is a community worth getting to know, and sacrificing for.
“There were times I thought, I should just quit. Then I thought, no, the city of Bangs needs me here,” said Camarillo, who enters his fourth year with the BPD. “I’m not going to quit. I was sick, came in with the flu. I had bronchitis. I injured my leg, but I was still there. I had to continue. My family hadn’t seen me in four months. It was only phone calls. That was it. If a call comes in at 1 a.m., you may be out there until 5 a.m. them come in at 7 a.m. and work the school zone … I was a challenge, but I wasn’t going to let Bangs down.”