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Posted on: December 21, 2021

Victoria Police Department honors retirees with walkout ceremony

Two police officers walk down the street, flanked by rows of police officers applauding them.

PHOTO #1: From left, Sgt. Julian Huerta and Lt. Michael Tatum are applauded by fellow officers as they take their final walkout during a retirement ceremony Dec. 16 in the 300 block of South Bridge Street.

PHOTO #2: Sgt. Julian Huerta greets his fellow officers during a walkout ceremony hosted Dec. 16 in the 300 block of South Bridge Street.

PHOTO #3: Lt. Michael Tatum greets his fellow officers during a walkout ceremony hosted Dec. 16 in the 300 block of South Bridge Street.

An older police officer hugs a younger officer who is standing in a row of applauding officers.PHOTO #4: Sgt. Julian Huerta, right, accepts a plaque in recognition of his service to the Victoria Police Department during a retirement ceremony Dec. 16 at the Victoria Police Department building.

PHOTO #5: Lt. Michael Tatum, middle, accepts a plaque in recognition of his service to the Victoria Police Department during a retirement ceremony Dec. 16 at the Victoria Police Department building.

A police officer shakes the hand of an officer standing in a row of applauding officers.Sgt. Julian Huerta and Lt. Michael Tatum celebrated their honorable retirement from the Victoria Police Department during a walkout ceremony hosted Dec. 16 in the 300 block of South Bridge Street. Both officers took their final “walkout,” in which officers walk out of the police station for the last time to signify the end of a law enforcement career. Walkout ceremonies are organized on a voluntary basis by retirees’ past and present co-workers. The chief of police approves the event and verifies the retirees’ status as “honorably retired from the Victoria Police Department.”

Three uniformed police officers stand at a makeshift stage at the police station. One holds a plaqueHuerta has served VPD since 1989. He has served as a field training officer, a hostage negotiator and a patrol sergeant/traffic safety sergeant. He has earned advanced certificates in negotiation and traffic safety, including a certificate in collision reconstruction. He has also served as an instructor in the Victoria College Law Enforcement Academy’s traffic law, accident investigation and radar speed enforcement certification programs as well as the police department’s radar and lidar instruction program.

Three uniformed police officers stand at a makeshift stage at the police station. One holds a plaqueTatum has served VPD since 1977. He has held roles with the Patrol Division, the Investigations Division (Juvenile Unit and Digital Forensics Unit) and the Support Services Division, and he is currently in charge of the Company A within the Patrol Division (1st and 2nd Platoon). He was also one of the department’s original field training officers. He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Southwest Texas State University in 1980 and graduated from the Law Enforcement Management Institute in 1990. He currently serves as a firearms instructor for the Civilian Police Academy and the Police Chaplain Academy and as an emergency driving instructor for the Victoria Police Department and the Victoria College Law Enforcement Academy.

To view more photos from the event, click here.

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