Those of us Mexis who came of age in OC in the 1980s and 1990s fondly remember Officer Jose Vargas. Whether he was working for Stanton, in Anaheim, or in Santa Ana, Vargas is a legend: as I wrote back in 2010, he's "a man who helped teach wabs to trust law enforcement and is the father of more than a few excellent cops. Vargas and his sons...took down cholos, broke up drug rings, and served their communities well." Vargas was the Latino liaison for his departments, teaching our parents how to keep their kids off the street, penning a column for multiple Spanish-language weeklies, and generally being what an officer should be: honest, kind, and giving.
Now, it's time for those of us who remember him to give back.
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Vargas has retired from public life in the past couple of years, as he's suffering from the ravages of Parkinson's. His mind is still sharp as ever, but his ability to tell stories of his career has diminished. And although his family has lovingly stayed by their father's side, it's still a lonely life fighting Parkinson's. As a result, the Vargas family is asking that those who remember Officer Jose send letters to their papi thanking him for his long career of advocacy and good-cop living.
Those interested can send their letters to:
c/o Jose Vargas
P.O. Box 4165
Garden Grove, Ca 92840