Ivan Gomez is a police officer with the City of Fort Worth, and also serves as the school liaison officer in a partnership with Fort Worth ISD.  Gomez works as a liaison between the school, the students and their parents to help resolve conflicts.

(Photo Courtesy of Ivan Gomez)

(Photo Courtesy of Ivan Gomez)

“I grew up in a not so great neighborhood is south Fort Worth. Being in unfortunate situations in life and seeing negativity, I wanted to do better and make a positive difference. As a first generation Mexican-American I saw the growing need for more Hispanic officers, those that speak Spanish,” said Gomez.

Gomez earned two associates degrees in applied science, one with a focus in business and the other with a focus in management from Tarrant County College.

“I always valued education and wanted to get my degree,” said Gomez.

Knowing that he wanted to go into law enforcement, Gomez went to DeVry University and earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Gomez worked as a youth development specialist at the Boys and Girls Club of America while he was attending school. He was responsible for representing the gang intervention program to gang-involved youth in the community. He mentored youth and helped them to look at their options when making decisions.

“For the younger kids, I would assist them with their homework. For the older ones, I would talk to them about how to apply for jobs, properly dress for and give a good interview,” said Gomez.

Gomez became an assistant juvenile probation officer for the Tarrant County Juvenile Services. He supervised juvenile probationers during community service projects and mentored them to make positive life changes. “As a school liaison officer I had the opportunity to do my part to reduce current and future crime,” said Gomez.

“Fort Worth Police Officer David Miller inspired me. Officer Miller was the police officer in the neighborhood where I grew up. I would see his example in the neighborhood. When I was eight years old, Officer Miller gave me a Fort Worth Police shoulder patch. I felt like an honorary police officer. I wanted to honor my community the way he did. I decided to become a police officer. I have the patch framed; and Officer Miller was the football coach when I was in elementary school. He treated everyone with respect, and I learned that we are all people, and we come from different walks from life. We may make poor choices, but you can learn from your mistakes. What you do from your mistakes is what makes you a better person. I thank my parents and family who raised me to become a man of faith and taught me the value of serving and helping others,” said Gomez.

He is working on earning his master’s degree in criminal justice at Tarleton State University in Ft. Worth.

“I know that when you get a degree, nobody can take it from you. It will help me and open up future endeavors within the police department,” said Gomez.

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com