, I wrote about how the family of longtime Stanton and Santa Ana police officer Jose Vargas was asking for letters to lift their papi's spirit. This past Friday, unfortunately, I got a new message from the family: God had called Vargas, after a long battle with Parkinson's. Services are pending but will no doubt bring out all the brass of OC's various police departments, who to this day still try to follow in the kind-yet-tough footsteps of Vargas' approach to the Latino community from where he came.
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As I wrote last month:
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.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Vargas' family, and we thank ustedes for your father's service. May he chase down mocosos in heaven and give them a good lecture...