New chief well rooted with life in West Texas

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Robert Lujan, Fort Stockton's new police chief, has deep ties to West Texas.

He was born and raised in Van Horn, graduating high school there in 1984. He then attended Sul Ross State University. After graduation, he joined the Texas Department of Public Safety as a trooper. He was stationed in Presidio. He also served the DPS from stations in Marfa and Alpine before he was promoted to lieutenant in El Paso. He later transferred to Del Rio, where he finally retired from his 29 year career to become Fort Stockton's chief.

Lujan said he was approached by a friend in the department who told him about the police chief position in Fort Stockton.

“My wife was born and raised in Fort Stockton, so it is a good fit,” he said.

Lujan, his wife Tammy, and their six-month old son Tomas, made the move to town and haven't looked back.

“It's been a real positive experience for the both of us,” he said. “My wife is excited to be back.”

Lujan said that he plans to be in Fort Stockton full time, investing his time in the community.

“I believe in transparency,” he said.

He said that he has been impressed with the Fort Stockton Police Department staff and with the resources it has. He said the department is looked at as a top agency in West Texas.

“I look forward to working with each one of them,” said Lujan.

Lujan started his position on Oct. 1 and has been kept busy, he said.

Losing employees

Recently the FSPD lost three officers who left to pursue other opportunities.

“We can't compete with their salaries,” said Lujan.

He has plans to fill the positions, and has already started looking.

One of the officers who left was in the district attorney's drug task force, which Lujan said is important as it focuses on combating drug issue.

“We do have a meth problem in Fort Stockton,” he said.

School Program

One of the things that Lujan wants his officers to focus on is community involvement.

“Their presence is more seen in the community,” he said.

The Fort Stockton Independent School District recently issued a letter stating that on-duty law enforcement officers are welcome to any of the district schools' breakfasts and lunches to eat for free and interact with the kids.

“Together we can show our students that law enforcement agents are people that are helpful, so students feel better when interacting with them,” said Assistant Superintendent Gil-Rey Madrid in the letter.

Madrid said that the collaboration puts safety at the center and helps improve long term safety ideas, actions and responses.

“I would highly recommend the officers to show up,” said Lujan. “They are encouraged to be active in local schools.”

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