SAPD hosted a ceremony honoring retiring Police Officer Jose Ruiz today in in the Chief’s Conference Room of the police station at 10 a.m. Ruiz served a total of 23 years and 9 months on the force.
“Although [Ruiz] is ending his career with us, this is only a new beginning,” Police Chief Frank Carter said. “Once an officer, you’re always an officer. As a retiree, Officer Jose Ruiz, you’re always welcome in your department. You will always be remembered for the service and protection you provided for our community and our nation.”
Ruiz not only served as a police officer, he has also been a member of the Army reserves since 1994. Overall, Ruiz received several tokens of appreciation throughout the retirement ceremony. These include a certificate of appreciation and a commemorative plaque.
Ruiz expressed his gratitude for the support that he has received from his family, friends, fellow officers, fellow retirees, and God Himself.
“[To] all my friends who have come here to help celebrate this end of the chapter for me, it has been wonderful,” Ruiz said. “It has been a great honor and a pleasure to have served along with you.”
One reporter present asked Ruiz how he felt at the retirement ceremony.
“[I’m going through] mixed emotions, I guess you could say,” Ruiz said. “In one part, I’m excited; I’m happy to move on to the next chapter of my life. On the other hand, I’m thinking, ‘Wow, am I letting my fellow officers down by retiring early or retiring at this time?’ But I know they’re in good hands. They’ve got good command staff now, and they’re going to lead them into good directions into the future. I’m looking forward to seeing all the new things that are going to be coming up for them.”
The reporter also asked how Ruiz knew that it was time to retire and what his plans are for the future.
“A wise man once told me that whenever you wake up and don’t feel like putting the uniform on, it’s time to retire,” Ruiz said. “At [this point] in time, that’s where I’m at. Who knows, maybe a couple months down the road, I might change my mind. [I might] say, ‘You know what? I’m ready to put a uniform back on.’”
He added, “Right now, I’m just going to stay at home [and] spend quality time with my family. Any future plans I have right now, I’m just going to leave it all in God’s hands and see what He has for me.”
Ruiz will officially retire from the police force on July 31, 2016. Ruiz also said that he plans to retire from the Texas National Guard by the end of the year.
“It has definitely been a privilege and an honor to have served the citizens of San Angelo," Ruiz said. “It has really been a true honor to have served with my fellow officers, my brothers and sisters in blue, and help them to make the community a better place to live.”
Ruiz’s retirement was not the first this week at SAPD; Chief Tim Vasquez and Assistant Chief Jeff Fant retired yesterday. Check out San Angelo LIVE!’s previous article about their retirement ceremony here.