The Pasadena ISD Police Department honors fallen police officers for National Police Week and names the 2016 Officer of the Year, Moses Rodriguez. Pictured (from left to right) Officers Rodriguez, Israel Torres, John Gomez, Jeff Sexton, Amber Murphy and Mike Mills. Not pictured: Joe Barrera.
| Officer Moses Rodriguez is named the 2016 Officer of the Year.
In honor of National Police Week, the Pasadena ISD Police Department held a ceremony to pay tribute to fallen law enforcement officers and honor the district’s 2016 Officer of the Year, Moses Rodriguez.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 as Police Officers Memorial Day and the week in which it falls as National Police Week.
The district annually takes this opportunity to reflect on those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty and honor officers who continue to protect and serve the Pasadena ISD community.
“We appreciate all of you in uniform for choosing to work here and for all you do to ensure the safety of residents in the Pasadena community,” said Stewart Russell, Pasadena ISD Chief of Police. “I never realized how rewarding it would be to work for the school district and I am sure that you all recognize those rewards too.”
Members of the Pasadena ISD Board of Trustees, district administrators and police officers gathered at the administration building for the celebration.
John Gomez was sworn in as a new police officer; officers Joe Barrera, Mark Mills, Amber Murphy, Jeff Sexton and Israel Torres were recognized for their years of dedication to the district; and Officer Moses Rodriguez was honored as the Officer of the Year.
Rodriguez joined the police department in 2013 as a patrol officer. After graduating from the University of Houston-Downtown Police Academy in 2010, Moses served the Harris County Sheriff’s Department for eight years and later volunteered for a year with the Harris County Constable Precinct 6 as a patrol officer.
Rodriguez was selected by his peers for the recognition.
“His peers said they selected him because of his kindness and dedication to the job, to the children of our district and his family,” Russell said.
Russell recalled the time Rodriguez interviewed for his current position.
“What impressed me about Moses was his self-confidence, knowing that he could do more to serve the community and work for a year unpaid,” Russell said. “It was a gamble, but he had support from his family and he was dedicated to his work.”
Making this an even more momentous occasion, two of the officers – Barrera and Murphy – are Pasadena ISD graduates.
Pasadena High graduate Officer Barrera has about 15 years of experience in law enforcement, having previously served 11 years with Pasadena ISD. He returned to the department in 2012 as a patrol officer.
Officer Mills has served the Pasadena ISD Police Department for about 10 years. He was previously employed at the South Houston Police Department.
Murphy, a Rayburn High alum, has been a police officer in the district for about 15 years. Before joining the district, she was a police officer with Harris County Precinct 1.
Sexton joined the Pasadena ISD Police in 2014 and brings 11 years of experience in law enforcement. He previously served as a corporal with the Jacinto City Police Department.
Officer Torres began serving the district in 1997 as a campus monitor at Pasadena High. He received his basic certification from the Criminal Justice Center of the University of Houston-Downtown in 2000, and was accepted into the Police Department in 2001.
Officer Gomez is sworn in as a police officer with the district police department.
Israel Torres is recognized for serving the district for about 15 years.
Board member Jack Bailey congratulates Rodriguez on his achievement.
Chief of Police Stewart Russell congratulates Rodriguez on being named Officer of the Year.