POSTED: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 4:06pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 7:26am
HIDALGO COUNTY, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — Hidalgo County interim sheriff Eddie Guerra is reinstating the position of Chief Deputy Sheriff and has appointed Mario Lopez for the job.
Lopez is currently ranked as major with the Texas Department of Public Safety and is bringing 27 years of law enforcement experience to his new position as chief deputy.
"When the sheriff looked at the chief deputy position and his vision of how the department should be run, Major Lopez was the best fit," explained Cmdr. Joel Rivera with the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office.
"The sheriff feels that [Lopez] is someone that he can trust. He has the law enforcement experience as well as the managerial experience to lead the sheriff's department."
This morning, Hidalgo County commissioners approved the creation of the position since it was removed during Treviño's reign as sheriff.
The former sheriff's chief of staff reported directly to Treviño, but Guerra is taking a more traditional approach in making the chief deputy a second-in-command to serve alongside the sheriff instead of underneath him.
"The true second in command will serve as an advisor to the sheriff and also serve in his place when the sheriff is out," Rivera said. "One of the mandates that the sheriff has made is he wants to be more accessible to the communities, so he plans on being out there more."
Lopez is in the process of filing paperwork with DPS to retire from his current position and is expected to assume chief deputy sheriff duties within the next few weeks.