by Kimberly Rubio, staff writer Whether it is dressing up as a gardener to catch neighborhood burglars or posing as a drug user looking to obtain narcotics, Uvalde Police Department Officer Greg Villa is known for devising intricate plans to catch criminals.
This month, his work ethic and creative methods for crime solving earned him the title of Officer of the Year for 2015.
“Villa is a credit to the department and to the community he serves,” said UPD Chief Eric Herrera. “He consistently maintains a high level of work productivity in all areas of his duties.”
Villa is a 2010 graduate of the Middle Rio Grande Law Enforcement Academy at Southwest Texas Junior College.
He began working for the UPD in February of 2011.
Villa, a Hondo native, said employment with the Uvalde department was not part of his original plan, but a trusted instructor encouraged him to apply.
If you’ve concluded that there’s an app for just about anything these days you could very well be right, as the Uvalde Leader-News is proud to introduce its own app, Uv@lde.
This new interactive and exciting app will let you explore all that the Uvalde area has to offer, from dining and shopping to hunting and floating one of the beautiful surrounding rivers. Whatever adventure you’d like to undertake while visiting either Uvalde or the nearby Hill Country, this app has got you covered.
The app has turn-by-turn directions, push notifications, delivers editorial, advertising and location-based content to audiences on any type of device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop computer.
While Facebook is used by many to catch up with old friends, a Humane Society of Uvalde member has set up a page with the intent of reuniting lost pets with their owners.
Called “Friends of Uvalde, TX Animal Control,” the site features pictures of dogs and cats that have been picked up by the city’s animal control officers, thus making it easier for those missing an animal to determine if and when their pet was picked up.
“Our mission is to rescue animals and place them back in their owner’s hands,” said UPD Lieutenant Daniel Rodriguez. “The site has only been up for two weeks so we’re still waiting to see how effective it is.”
One defining characteristic of an individual is knowing you can depend on them. They will overcome all obstacles to show up on time and perform assigned duties.
If it’s an athlete you just pencil their name in the lineup and feel confident you’re going to get a maximum performance. At any sporting event there are the support staff and just knowing they will be in place relieves the burden on the person that has the responsibility of organizing the event.
Uvalde is lucky to have such individuals. One in particular – Johnny Coronado – is someone you can count on to be there usually an hour before game time.
Justin Schmidt was honored as the 2015 Firefighter of the Year on Thursday night when the Uvalde Volunteer Fire Department held its annual banquet.
The award was presented by Roy Joe Howard and Juan Maldonado.
“This individual wears many hats. He is always on the go and he loves his family,” Maldonado said. “He goes above and beyond for this department... He is a perfect example of our motto: ‘Deeds, not words.’”
Schmidt is a 12-year veteran of the department. In addition to being on staff of the Uvalde Fire Department, he is also a volunteer for Sabinal VFD.
Speaking Friday, Schmidt said the award was unexpected.
“I am very humbled to be honored like that amongst such fine and outstanding individuals that have done so many great things for this community,” he said.