Former coworkers remember Abilene Police Officer, founding member of SWAT Team


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A former longtime Abilene Police Officer passed away Friday after a brief illness.

Santos Perez, 67, of Abilene passed away on June 5, 2020.

Santos served in the US Army 82nd Airborne Division from 1972-1975, as a Sergeant E-5. He served as a patrolman for the Snyder Police Department from 1975-1976 and also attended Western Texas College and later Hardin-Simmons University.

Santos graduated from the Abilene Police Department Academy 20, in November 1977. He had a 33-year career with the Abilene Police Department (1977-2010).

“We called Santos the Godfather,” said one of Santos’ former coworkers Mark Watson. “It just fit, he was still here after all these years and we just went to him for advice.”

“He was the guy that set the example, he was the guy that officers looked up to,” said former Abilene Police Chief Melvin Martin.

During this time, Santos was a founding member of the SWAT Team, and a Master Peace Officer. He was a long-serving Field Training Officer and helped to train and mentor countless new officers in the Department.

“The bravery it takes to be in this day in time to be a police officer, the bravery to be on the SWAT team was even more so,” said Martin.

Santos is the only police officer to date who has been honored as the Police Officer of the Year three times in his career.

“No one else has done that,” said Melvin.

Both Melvin and Watson say Santos leaves behind an incredible legacy at the department and one that they hope to share with future generations.

I think anytime you mention his name, I mean it just leaves good feelings with the officers,” said Martin.

To see Santos Perez’ full obituary click HERE

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