Chief of Police Gualburto “Wally” Gonzalez turned in his badge and had already laid his guns down before he announced his retirement at a press conference yesterday. “I have some health issues that I need to take care of,” Gonzalez, said. “I am really looking forward to my retirement and the future.”
Port Isabel city manager Jared Hockema has appointed retired Texas Ranger Tony David as Gonzalez’s replacement. Currently, David serves as police chief in the Town of Laguna Vista. Gonzalez served as police chief of Port Isabel since 2008.
Gonzalez’s retirement is effective in October. However, he will be on medical leave and taking advantage of the vacation time he has accrued. Gonzalez had come out of retirement in 2006 to rejoin the police department where he started his career as a 21-year-old police officer in 1974. Prior to be being re-hired in 2006, Gonzalez had been an investigator for the Cameron county district attorney’s office.
“I’m very proud to have been the chief of police of Port Isabel,” Gonzalez said. “Working here for the last eight years has been a real journey.” Gonzalez said he plans to be back in shape to continue as the announcer for the Tarpons football games.
Hockema said Gonzalez is a beloved figure and icon in this town of Port Isabel. “Wally has been a great chief for us and he is a great member of the community,” Hockema said. The Port Isabel police department has 19 certified police officers employed with the department.
Gonzalez said there is no daily routine in police work— sometimes it’s slow and sometimes it’s intense. “I would just like to thank everybody who has supported me throughout the years,” Gonzalez said. “I have had a lot of good support from the community and city commission.”
By RAUL GARCIA Staff Writer