Sergeant Deputy Joe Saucedo was named the Atascosa County Law Enforcement Officer Association’s Officer of the Year at the 43rd annual banquet held last Friday, July 13 at the Pleasanton Civic Center.
Attendees were treated to a steak dinner cooked by Smoke’n 830 and sponsored by Pumpco. Lt. Henry Doinguez of the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office was the keynote speaker.
The award, sponsored by the Pleasanton Express since 1987, has been awarded to an outstanding lawman since 1975. It is presented in memory of two Atascosa County Deputies, Aerl Jernigan and Luis Garza who lost their lives protecting our county. Deputy Jernigan was killed December 21, 1975 while answering a disturbance call in the Primrose area in northern Atascosa County. He had just received this award – the first one – earlier that May. Deputy Garza was killed along with his wife, Elida, after being kidnapped on July 19, 1973 near Charlotte.
Our 2017 Atascosa County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year is employed with the Atascosa County Sheriff’s office. He was nominated by Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward. His letter follows:
“I would like to take this opportunity to nominate Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant-Deputy Joe Saucedo for Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
On December 25, 2017, Sergeant Deputy Joe Saucedo, was on routine patrol on SH 173 when he observed a white Ram flatbed truck parked along the fence line almost at a creek bottom. Evidence found by Sgt. Saucedo suggested that the truck was stolen and may had been hauling a gooseneck trailer.
“At this same time a call came in on Fern Hollow Rd just down the highway in reference to a gooseneck trailer being parked at a residence. Sgt. Saucedo went to the location and observed a black Big Tex trailer stuck in the culvert near a driveway. Through Sgt. Saucedo’s investigation he determined this trailer was being hauled by the stolen truck that he had just recovered.
“Sgt. Saucedo located witnesses and obtained information that led him behind a residence on Fern Hollow. Sgt. Saucedo was able to locate another stolen truck from behind this residence. Sgt. Saucedo did not stop there, he continued to search the property and located another stolen trailer that was hidden under tarps and brush. Sgt. Saucedo kept prying deeper into the situation and located a stolen Suzuki Motorcycle in a shed that was blocked with a green screen door and a pallet. In the shed Sgt. Saucedo also recovered a stolen generator, a Metrotech 9800 and a debit card. The debit card was taken from a vehicle burglary in San Antonio.
Sgt. Saucedo’s investigation then led him to Co Rd 303 and SH 173 where he and other deputies located a stolen 2014 Ram truck. Through further investigation, Sgt. Saucedo was able to recover another stolen trailer, and multiple stolen power tools.
“As an Atascosa County Deputy, Sgt. Saucedo understands the importance of not just taking a call but following leads and continuing with his investigation to ensure victims know that every effort was made to recover their stolen property. While most others were at home enjoying Christmas Day with their families, Sgt. Saucedo and his men were out working diligently for the citizens of Atascosa County.”
Also honored that evening were Citizens of the Year Ernest and Linda Reyes for their assistance to the Port Aransas Police Department after Hurricane Harvey hit the island. This award is named in honor of Elida Garza, Deputy Luis Garza’s wife. The Reyes were unable to attend.