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By Teresa Bigham/The Hesperian-Beacon—
FLOYD COUNTY – Floyd County Sheriff’s Department welcomes two new deputies to the team, Deputy Star Rodriguez and Deputy Josh Rocha.
Raised in Lubbock, Deputy Rocha is the son of Dennis and Lupe Rocha. He grew up in a household where hard work and clean living were a way of life. From an early age, his parents taught him, his brother Aaron of Lubbock and his sister Brianna of Dallas to work for things that they needed and wanted.
His father owned a construction company so during the summer breaks and weekends, Rocha helped his dad. His mother has worked for Blue Cross/Blue Shield for as long as he can remember.
Rocha graduated from Lubbock High in 2013 and went straight to work in the oil fields. In 2017 he found himself without a job when he got laid off due to cutbacks.
“Since I had always wanted to a cop, I applied for the South Plains Association of Government Law Enforcement Academy and I was accepted in February 2018,” said Rocha. “I graduated in October of that same year.”
While at the academy, Rocha says his favorite classes were the driving class and the active shooters class.
“The driving class taught us the fundamentals we needed to learn to control a car at a high rate of speed,” said Rocha. “In the active shooters class, we learned how to handle the stressful situation of being called to a place where someone is actively shooting. We learned a lot in that class but what we really focused on was how to get to the shooter and get the situation under control.”
Rocha has served with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department since January. Before coming to Floyd County, he was a deputy for Cochran County for eleven months.
Growing up in family always close, Rocha had an uncle, Theo Galvan, who worked in law enforcement.
“He was a great role model for me,” Rocha said. “He gave me the guidance I needed to become the officer I am today.”
Rocha has a true passion for working narcotics.
“I love everything about that,” he explained. “I love catching the bad guys. There’s nothing good that comes with using or dealing narcotics.”
According to the Department of Justice, seven out of 10 traffic stops routinely involve narcotics.
Drugabuse.gov reports that research studies have shown negative effects of marijuana on drivers, including an increase in lane weaving, poor reaction time and altered attention to the road. while drivers who have used cocaine or methamphetamines can be aggressive and reckless while driving.
Everyone knows that working in law enforcement is an incredibly stressful job so when he has time off, Rocha loves to get out and drive the roads off the cap. He also loves hunting and fishing.
Rocha has some advice for the youth of the community.
“Don’t let the things you do today mess your life up for tomorrow,” he exclaimed. “Remember that everything you do reflects on who you are. Once you mess up your name you do not have much. Strive to be that person that everyone looks up to. Be a leader of your peers.”
Deputy Star Rodriguez is the daughter of Ramon and Mary Ann Rodriguez. She also grew up in Lubbock. The only daughter and the baby of the family, she has two brothers who are 11 and 13 years older.
“My family is everything to me,” she said. “My parents are the two hardest working people I know, and they raised us three kids to do the same.”
Deputy Rodriguez is a single mother of a little girl. Full of life and love, she happens to be her pride and joy. The mother and daughter due love spending as much time together as possible.
“My daughter is very independent and a strong-willed child, and I’m extremely proud of that,” she said.
Rodriguez graduated from Levelland High School in 2011. She was not sure what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She held down a few different jobs, but nothing really fulfilled her life the way she wanted it to. What she did know is that she wanted a job where she could make a difference. In 2019, she started the process of joining the South Plains Law Enforcement Academy.
According to Rodriguez, getting into the academy in not an easy process. In fact, she started filling out the paperwork, setting up the background check, taking the initial written and oral exam in February 2019. Accepted a few months later, the academy took Rodriguez about nine months to complete which is just a little longer than normal due to the COVID-19.
Rodriquez has been on the job here in Floyd County for about four weeks now.
“I really love this community,” she said. “What I really love is how the people that live in the county are so friendly and welcoming. Every day I am excited to get out there and see what the day has in store for me. The whole team here at the department has been really helpful and I’d like them to know that I am incredibly grateful that they have taken me in like family.”
Today, women play a major role and are a respected part of law enforcement although this is not the job for many women.
“I found my calling,” said Rodriguez. “If I can help anyone out there in our community, I’ll be there. If I could help the young people in Floyd County by giving them advice, I’d tell them not to give in to peer pressure but to be their own strong person. Do not be a bully either. I would tell every kid in school to friend that one person in school who always seems to be left out. Spread your wings and fly, find what you’re passionate about and go with it. I would tell them that they are important and loved by so many, and that the Floyd County Sheriff Deputies are all there for them if they need anything or simply need someone to talk to, find one of us. We’d love to help in any way we can.”
According to the Bureau of Justice, women in law enforcement make up about 15 percent of all state, municipal, and county police and sheriff officers. They also report the women in law enforcement bring a lot to the job force, including offering different ways of dealing with conflict.
“Everyone here at the department is glad to have Deputy Rodriquez on our team,” said her partner, Deputy Vasquez. “She’s extremely hard working and dedicated to our team and community. She has been very eager to learn and she’s excited to get out and meet the citizens of Floyd County.”