There is no doubt that Atascosa County has its share of brave and outstanding police officers patrolling and protecting the streets. It is even better when such officers get featured in pictorial books due to the wonderful job they do everyday and the sacrifices they make for their families to keep our communities safe. Both Pleasanton Police Chief Ronald Sanchez and Officer Jessi Chia were both chosen to tell their stories in the up and coming Behind the Texas Badge pictorial book by Doug and Carol Hutchinson.
Chief Ronald Sanchez was blown away when he was contacted about being featured in the book, “What an honor. Doug and Carol are great people.” His story in the Texas Badge will highlight the Atascosa Ambush that occurred on October 12, 1999 when the lives of three local officers were taken. “I do not know how the community will feel about my story. I wrote it several years ago and wrote from my perspective,” Sanchez said. The aftermath of the event had adverse effects on Sanchez but he did not let it impact him in a negative way, “I choose to accept my feelings and honor three great officers who gave their lives serving their respective communities.” Sanchez also said writing about the ambush helped him come to grips with what happened to him on that night that will live with him forever.
Chief Sanchez was asked by Doug and Carol about any unique officers in his department they could feature in their book and he immediately thought of Officer Jessi Chia, “She was born and raised in Minnesota and came to us by way of El Paso. She has had a very interesting life.”
Officer Chia knew right away what she wanted to do with her life. When she was in elementary school, a female D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer visited her school. Chia never saw a female officer until then and from that point on knew she wanted to be a police officer when she grew up. “Since I have become a police officer, it has changed my entire perspective on life from my day duties to my family life,” Chia said, “I have been nothing short of blessed that I have been able to help people in our community. Someday when I am older and look back, I never have to worry if I made a difference in someone’s life because I know I have.” She says she feels honored as well to be featured in the upcoming book. Since beginning her career, she has felt she has been blessed with opportunities, and being in the book is one, “I think when the book is published it will put Pleasanton on the map, to other places that have never heard of [us],” Chia said, “I look forward to sharing it with my family and passing it on to my children’s children.”
Doug Hutchinson, retired Irving police officer, and wife Carol, writer and photographer, are the creators of Behind the Texas Badge. After his long career in law enforcement, Doug wanted to help bring Texas police officers together with images of their faces, their badges, shoulder patches and squad cars, and through the telling of their heartfelt stories. They travel the state of Texas photographing officers for their book and telling officers’ stories. A portion of the proceeds from the book will go toward charities to benefit families of fallen officers. “I love showing kids that the police are not the bad guys,” Chief Sanchez said, “I hope one day, when I’m gone, my granddaughter will be able to browse the pages of this book and see officers from different agencies that represent our great state.”
Doug and Carol will begin taking orders in December and they expect the book to be released in early 2018. To order yours, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or send them a message on the “Behind the Texas Badge” Facebook page.