A pair of law enforcement officers know the bonds of brotherhood that come with the badge.

However, their love, pride and respect for one another is a little bit deeper, as the father-son duo both serve residents of Seguin and Guadalupe County as peace officers.

From throwing footballs to patrolling the streets, Seguin Police Captain Jaime “Rusty” Suarez and his father Guadalupe County Constable Pct. 1 Deputy Constable Lorenzo Suarez Jr. have a deep respect for each other and for protecting the public.

“My dad was definitely an influence on me growing up,” Rusty said. “His work ethic, passion to serve and help others, as well as his dedication to his job really shows a lot about him.”

Lorenzo coached all manner of sports ranging from football, track and even tennis for nearly four decades. He also worked as an assistant principal at Uvalde High School where he would eventually step down to coach his son on the football team.

“When I was an assistant principal my son was in Jr. high and the following year he was going to be in high school,” Lorenzo said. “So, I thought about it and decided that I’d rather coach my son. I can always go back to being an administrator, but I can’t go back and coach my boy.”

While under the coaching prowess of his father, Rusty managed to be an all-state linebacker.

After high school, Rusty went to college and received his bachelor’s degree at Texas Midland and eventually earned his Masters Degree at Texas State. It was during this time that he decided to transition from a concentration in physical therapy to law enforcement. As Rusty’s scholastic endeavors grew, so did his father’s who also decided to pursue law enforcement.

“My dad actually went through the academy around the same time I did, becoming a licensed police officer pretty close to right after I became one,” Rusty said. “He really wanted to become a part of the law enforcement because he had that passion to serve in the community. Once he finished up his police officer course he became a reserve officer in Jarrell and he’s been with them ever since he graduated.”

Most recently, Lorenzo was hired as a part-time deputy constable for Guadalupe County Pct. 1 Constable James Springer, which Rusty had the honor of pinning the badge on his father.

“We tried to play it serious,” said Rusty. “We have looked at pictures that we’ve taken together in the past and we don’t smile, it’s just one of those things growing up where we are the men and we’re not going to smile. However, this time I couldn’t help but smile and he couldn’t help but smile throughout that whole process so it felt really good.”

Although Lorenzo has never worked full-time as a police officer, he always managed to balance his passion for law enforcement with his dedication to coaching.

“I was a reserve and when I wasn’t coaching or teaching I would go out on patrol from 6 to 10 p.m.,” Lorenzo said. “I’ve never been a full-time officer because of my teaching. Once I got out of teaching and retired I still loved law enforcement, so I do it on weekends. It would be really hard for me to say that I love coaching more than being a police officer.”

Growing up in a family of law enforcement, Lorenzo always knew he join the brotherhood someday.

“I have always wanted to be in law enforcement,” Lorenzo said. “It’s one of those things that runs on my father’s side. My grandfather was in law enforcement and I have an uncle that also worked for the border in Eagle Pass. My daughter Christina, who I am also proud of, got her degree in criminal justice.”

Recently the two officers have found themselves working in the same city and will occasionally run into each other.

“It’s not awkward, it just catches you off guard, it’s not like we’re responding to the same calls or anything like that because he works for the county,” Rusty said. “His office is in the city, but just seeing him in the public wearing a deputy constables uniform and just being able to go up to him and give him a hug and know that he’s doing good and doing the community well, brings joy to my life.”

His father echoed that sentiment.

“When we are working, I always address him professionally,” Lorenzo said. “When he was a sergeant, I addressed him as sergeant. When he was a lieutenant, I addressed him as a lieutenant and now as a captain, I address him as a captain. People always ask me why I address him that way and I say he has earned that respect. At home, I’ll call him son or I’ll call him Rusty, but out in public I will address him with his rank and I do it with pride. I’ll say that’s my son, even though he outranks me that’s okay.”

On Father’s Day, the Suarez, men plan to keep it simple.

“Both of my children have made us really proud,” said Lorenzo. “I love that I can step back and proudly say ‘that’s my son’ and ‘that’s my daughter,’ and on Father’s Day were going to go fishing, that’s our plan.”

 

Joe Martin is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at joe.martin@seguingazette.com.

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