When Hays County Pct. 2 Constable Michael Torres took office over a month ago, he implemented a uniform for deputies for the first time in 40 years.
“I wanted to be visible in the community,” Torres said. “Just for professionalism, so that people are aware we’re Texas peace officers.”
But Torres quickly realized the uniform featured a generic patch on the sleeve. Instead of seeing it as an obstacle, however, Torres viewed it as a chance to work with the community.
Earlier this month, Torres asked the community to vote on a series of new patch designs crafted by Lehman High students specifically for the Kyle-area precinct.
On Friday, Torres announced the winner on Facebook.
“I’m grateful that the school wanted to work with us and get the community involved in all of this,” Torres said.
Lehman High School students were asked to design a patch including an image of Kyle’s historic water tower.
“They took this very seriously,” said Lauren Reeves, Lehman High School graphic and floral design teacher. “It was fun to watch them work so diligently on something.”
The path toward designing the patch began when Torres sent the students photos of some patch concepts. Reeves then gave the photos to her design team, which used InDesign, a computer based program, to create the six patch variants.
Torres and his staff posted six designs on Torres’ public Facebook page, allowing the community to vote on their favorite for one week.
Deputies will be wearing the new patch on their uniform by June or “hopefully sooner,” Torres said.
“My vision for the office was to include everyone in the community so that everyone could be involved,” Torres said.
Once the badge design has been finalized, Torres said he hopes to host an event for Lehman High School to present them with a token of appreciation.
Torres also asked Hays High School students to design a logo for patrol cars and has received various designs. He plans on hosting a similar poll on Facebook in two weeks.
“The students did really well,” Torres said. “That’s something they can take with them forever, to know they were involved in the early stages of us creating our department and our image.”