LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – Rogelio Perez has worked for the LaGrange Police Department for 23 years and is currently the Sergeant of the Patrol Division. He is the only Hispanic on the force and serves as a confidant for the Hispanic community. Along with his typical police officer duties, Perez is also a translator for Hispanics in the area for different cases, some involving the District Attorney’s Office.
“It’s a good link to have somebody that speaks Spanish that can be able to relate to. Plus my relation or my past as a Hispanic I know some culture things that a normal or a person that is from here and is not Hispanic would not know,” said Perez.
Perez was born in Los Angeles, California, he joined the Army National Guard at the age of 18 before enrolling for active duty at the age of 19. He served for 20 years and moved to Georgia when he retired from the Army out of Fort Benning in 1998.
Perez said he enjoys being able to help Hispanics in the community by translating and bridging a gap. He considers his Hispanic heritage and his ability to speak Spanish a blessing. The LaGrange PD gave him a phone that is specifically for him to help Spanish- speakers, he has passed along the number to the community.
He said for him being Hispanic means being generous, hopeful and selfless. He also said he still holds his core values that he learned as a child close in his professional career. Respect is constantly at the forefront of his actions and he said he makes decisions always remembering to respect others.
“It stayed in my mind you know, God is always watching so do the right thing even though nobody is watching,” said Perez.
Perez has received a lot of positive feedback from the Hispanic community including food as a thank you from many people he has helped.