LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – One LaGrange Police Officer that has served the community for over 20 years is putting his badge down one last time. Rogelio Perez has been on the force for 23 years and has not only served as a police officer but as a bridge to the Hispanic community. 

“It’s not an easy decision. I didn’t get a ray or a flash from God saying ‘it’s time’. I’m young enough still where I can go do something else. Almost 24 years of carrying a gun and being here at the LaGrange Police Department, I think that’s enough,” said Perez. 

Perez celebrated his retirement on the same day as his 62nd birthday and other members of the department showed their support on social media and congratulated him for both milestones. 

For most of his career, Perez was the only Hispanic on the force and would provide support to those who spoke limited English in the community. He often served as a translator and even had a separate phone where he could be reached by those that only spoke Spanish. 

He joined the LaGrange PD in 1998 after retiring from the Army out of Fort Benning. He said being able to help out the Hispanics in the community has been a blessing and he considers many of them friends. 

Perez said he intends to remain an active part of the community and will help where he sees fit.  

“My number one goal or concern is to take care of the officers. If I can continue to take care of the officers without wearing this gun then maybe that is something I can look into,” said Perez.