Jesse Reyes has a face you should know. He’s the new deputy chief of the North Central station in our neighborhood. And if his face already looks familiar, that may be because you’ve seen him on TV.
Why did you want to become a police officer?
I actually earned my degree in business finance, but after two job interviews, I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do. In the back of mind, I always had this inherent desire to be a cop, so I went for it. I attribute that to my childhood. Growing up in my neighborhood, I saw the police quite a bit, and they were always helping people. I guess that desire to help people was ingrained in me, and it’s still there.
Tell me some highlights from your 25 years with the Dallas Police Department.
I got to work with the producers of ‘Dallas SWAT’ and ‘The First 48’ when those TV shows were filmed here. That was pretty cool.
How’d you swing that?
I was working as a lieutenant in homicide back in 2004 when Granada Films approached us and said they’d like to a TV show for the A&E channel called ‘The First 48’ showing what happens in a murder investigation. Because I was a commander, I got to work with producers and preview all the TV episodes before they aired.
And how’d you get to work on ‘Dallas SWAT’?
Well, as luck would have it, I later got promoted to deputy chief over Homeland Security and Special Operations, which includes the SWAT team. The same producer contacted me, and we got to work on another TV show together.
So, I have to ask: are those reality TV shows actual reality?
For the most part, what you see is how it really happens. I wanted to make sure the portrayal of our department was legit, so I took a lot of care in making sure we kept it genuine on both shows.
Can neighbors spot you in any of those TV shows?
If you really look, you’ll see me in the background. It’s a bit like ‘Where’s Waldo’.
Was it surreal to see yourself on national TV?
Actually, no. I’ve been a boxing judge and referee for many years, so I’ve been on HBO, Showtime, and just about every Spanish TV station.
How’d you get into boxing?
My dad was an accomplished amateur boxer, so he had me in the ring when I was wearing diapers.
And did you box?
My career ended when the other guy started hitting back. But I’ve been a referee for five years, and a judge for 11 years.
So when you’re not working or refereeing a boxing match, what are you doing?
I’m likely spending time with my lovely wife of 24 years, or playing soccer. I play on indoor and outdoor soccer teams. I also enjoy running. I’ve run the White Rock Marathon, but I don’t have time to seriously train like I’d like to.
And what’s it been like so far here at the North Central Station?
It’s been refreshing to have so much community support. I want neighbors to know I’m here to help resolve any community issues they might have, and that I’m very approachable.
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