For nearly 40 years, Corsicana Police Sgt. Lewis Palos has protected and served the residents of his home town. Palos, who has held virtually every position within the department, including being named interim Chief of Police, loves what he does and has made quite a career out of it.

Last Tuesday Palos hopped in the department’s supervisor vehicle and went to work.

“The role of a supervisor is to be the eyes and ears for the guys in the field,” Palos said.

Palos first began at the CPD in September of 1966. His first role was as a communications officer.

“The chief at the time told me when I turned 21, he would send me to the academy and then on the streets,” Palos recalled.

At the time, the police were operating on two channels with the radio communication. Today, Palos said there are up to 20 channels at a time used.

Infrared systems on the supervisor vehicles allow officers to see suspects even in the dark. Palos said several burglars and prowlers have been caught with the new technology.

“Pretty good equipment,” Palos said with a grin.

Another upgrade in technology comes from the direct computers located in the vehicles. Palos can run a license plate number and find out a lot of information on the driver simply by keying in the digits. In the past, officers had to go through the switchboard to get the information.

When Palos first embarked on his journey of law enforcement having speedy police cruisers was the name of the game. Nowadays it is secondary to the safety of the officers.

“Technology will catch the suspect. Officer safety is our first priority,” Palos said.

Taking care of the other units under his jurisdiction is more than simply helping out with on the job issues, it entails taking care of the officer as a person as well.

“We have to make sure the officer is in the right frame of mind so they can be at 100 percent doing their job,” Palos said.

Through Palos’ tenure at each position he has held in the department, he has found his way back on the streets where he feels most comfortable.

“I really enjoy being out on the streets and on patrol,” he said.

Palos was born in Emhouse and went to school in Corsicana, then to Navarro College. He served six years in the United States Airforce reserve. Palos is not married.

“I never really had time ... I’m really married to this job,” Palos said.

Sgt. Palos is an Ordained Catholic Minister and has presided over funerals. When he retires, he hopes to become a full-time minister in his hometown.

In the meantime, he is enjoying every moment of being able to do what he loves — protect and serve the residents of Corsicana.

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AJ Narasimhan can be reached via e-mail at ajn@corsicanadailysun.com

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