Spouse of cadet turned cop shares her fears about the force

Chief Orlando Rodriguez

They are the newest defenders of Brownsville.

Eight cadets have turned into cops.

All of them are now sworn to uphold the law.

It's a proud moment for their families looking on at the Brownsville Police Department Monday afternoon.

Audrey Villarreal is a new wife and a new mom.

Her husband, Mario Gomez, is one the new members of the police force.

"I'm really proud of him," she said. "I'm just hoping God will take care of him for me and I know he will."

Mario's class spent five months training for this very day.

The UTB graduate says he believes in the badge and the community service it represents.

But unlike some of the other officers here, Mario enters the crime-fighting world with a 10-month-old who's also counting on him.

"I want to see him grow," Mario said.

Kaleb is his world.

His wife shares her fears.

"Just getting into confrontation with people and them being aggressive," she said. "That's the most that worries me."

This is her second swearing-in ceremony in 4 years.

Her father also works at the police department.

Officer Gomez has been taught how family takes care of family.

The Brownsville Police Department is 245 family members strong.

"I got their backs," he said. "I got her father's back and it's like a family we have."

The department prides itself on a great safety record.

There hasn't been an officer killed in the line of duty since 1945.

Chief Orlando Rodriguez talks about how Audrey will play a big part in her husband's success.

"We've prepared him with everything to make him a good officer and better prepared," he said. "But the risks are always going to be there. And we are hoping that she reminds him and never lets him forget what he learned."

Audrey says she's up for the challenge.

"It's scary but I know God will take care of him for me," she said.

It's a daily reminder of the risks and rewards for a life in law enforcement.

"I just kiss her every morning and tell her I'll be back in the afternoon," Officer Gomez said. "But I do pray and I will be praying again every day I do go back out to work that I'll make it safe back home."

The eight new officers on patrol include: Antonio Martinez Jr, Justin Keith Solis, Victor Pablo Mendez Jr, Rolando Trujillo Jr, Jesus Gonzalez Jr, Mario Daniel Gomez. Jose Alejandro Loredo and Leonzo Montalvo Jr.The additional manpower will allow for more investigators, something the chief says will help improve with the current case load.

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