During his police academy days, a training officer passed along some advice to Estevan “Steve” Rodriguez that the Euless warrant officer has never forgotten.
“Be human first and a police officer second,” the 43-year-old Rodriguez said.
Using that as the foundation for his law enforcement career, Rodriguez is now in his 12th year as a warrant officer, the last three in Euless. He was previously a warrant officer in Denton County.
And it was Rodriguez’s “outstanding” work last year that earned him the W.M. “Blackie” Sustaire Memorial Award. He received the award earlier this year at an annual departmental police banquet.
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The Sustaire award is named for the city’s first police chief who later became a city manager in Euless. Sustaire served the city for 31 years, providing quality service to Euless residents, officials said.
“This job is not always the most pleasant, however, he makes the best of any situation,” said Police Chief Mike Brown in his award presentation to Rodriguez. “He is always courteous and professional in his dealings with the public. He especially displays great concern when dealing with the youth of the city.”
Capt. Gary Landers agreed.
“He’s a great guy,” Landers said. “He’s a good officer who fits so well in this department.”
Raised in Farmers Branch, Rodriguez has been in law enforcement for 18 years, starting out as a patrol officer with the Farmers Branch Police Department.
“Every police officer eventually will discover that they are good in one area or another, one officer might be good in narcotics, or another enjoys traffic,” Rodriguez said. “For me, it’s being a warrant officer.”
Typically, in their line of work, warrant officers deal with the people who are faced with the possibility of jail time.
In addition to serving warrants, Rodriguez is responsible for transporting prisoners.
Rodriguez acknowledged that he thinks twice before chasing down suspects.
“Look, someone runs away, well I’ve got his name, home address, where he works and other information, so why run after him?” the warrant officer said.
And Rodriguez said he tries to always be respectful.
“I try my best never to arrest someone in front of their kids,” he said. “I got into police work to help, and I want to treat them as a person.”
Brown, the department’s police chief, said Rodriguez earned the Sustaire award for his outstanding performance on a daily basis last year.
“I know I have done a good job when I put someone in jail and they turn around and say, ‘Thank you, Officer Rodriguez,” the officer said. “I know then that I did something to help them.”
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763