Outside of Paschal High School, a couple of students decide to jaywalk directly in front of Officer Charles Gonzalez’s squad car.
He speaks to them over his squad car’s speaker, steps out of his car and escorts them into his vehicle, explaining to them that their jaywalking could result in a $200 fine.
He drives around the block with the students, asking them questions about why they chose to break the law in front of a police officer.
They manage a few curt and confusing responses before Gonzalez stops the car, steps out again, and releases them from the back of the car. He checks their identification, gives them a warning and sends them on their way.
Gonzalez gets back at the car and drives off, saying he did not give them a ticket because they were honest and did not give him any trouble when he asked them to come with him.
Such interactions with the 109ers he has chosen to serve and protect make up an important part of this 18-year veteran’s job as a neighborhood police officer.
His patrol area extends from Interstate 20 to as far north as West Berry Street, with Granbury Road and South Hulen Street making up its east and west borders.
Every afternoon and into the night, Gonzalez patrols the area, making his presence known throughout his beat.
Before joining the Fort Worth police force, Gonzalez spent 20 years in the Army. He then moved on to working at the county jail in San Antonio before ending up in Fort Worth
Gonzalez said that the way he conducts his work is very straightforward.
“If I see something and it’s against the law or a city ordinance, I will either cite you, I will arrest you, or I will tell you that you are doing something wrong,” he said. “But I will do something.”
“Some people don’t like it, but I don’t care,” he said. “This is what I took an oath for.”
For Gonzalez, after so many years of service to his city, his philosophy seems to be very simple.
“Take action — I guess that’s what my philosophy is,” he said. “And that’s what I do.”