By Megan Wehring
KYLE — With the heart of a servant, Captain Pedro Hernandez knew that it was his calling to help others when he became an officer at the Kyle Police Department (KPD).
“I like helping people,” Hernandez said, “as cliche and corny as that sounds. Being a police officer, we have numerous ways of helping people. Protecting those who can’t protect themselves and standing up for those who don’t know how or just can’t stand up for themselves.”
Kyle City Council recognized Hernandez’s 25 years of service on Tuesday, June 15 during the regularly scheduled meeting. Mayor Pro Tem Rick Koch presented Hernandez with a baseball card showcase of his statistics over the years.
“Ever since I was a member of the Kyle Citizens Police Academy,” Koch said, “I have enjoyed knowing you. Then getting on council, I have enjoyed sparring with you, seeing your energy and the way you demand excellence for the police department and this city. You are a shining beacon and a great example for all your fellow officers.”
As just the fifth officer to join KPD, Hernandez has worn many hats during his tenure.
“He patrolled the small community of Kyle oftentimes with no backup,” said Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett. “He was the only officer on duty and he performed all of the functions you could imagine that were bestowed on the Kyle Police Department from police officer to investigator to animal control. He served the city through lean times and he certainly continues to serve and provide leadership to the community.”
When Hernandez first started at KPD, he did not expect to stay for nearly three decades. But the warm camaraderie influenced him.
“Since the day I started, I felt that the community has always supported the police department,” Hernandez said. “As the community was growing and people were moving from larger cities, they would compliment us because we would give them more of a personalized service. They weren’t just a number to us.”
Officers in larger cities may not be able to give their residents a personalized service, Hernandez explained, due to increased population numbers and call volume.
Hernandez also credits his family for standing by his side with continuing support over the years. He has three children: Michael, 23, Caitlyn, 17, and Ryan, 16.
Hernandez does not plan to retire anytime soon — He is looking forward to seeing continued growth and development in the city of Kyle.
“As long as God keeps me here and the city keeps me here,” Hernandez told the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch, “I hope to stay at least the next seven years.”