Lara signs on with Wolfforth Police Department
Frank Lara, a 28-year-old rookie cop, patrols the Wolfforth streets looking for law breakers.
“I wanted to do my part,” said Lara. “There’s a lot of bad guys out there and not enough good guys. Everybody has to do their part.”
Lara recently became a police officer in Wolfforth after attending the South Plains Association of Government’s school of law enforcement.
The paramedic was learning about firefighting when he decided to try law enforcement.
But he actually became interested in law enforcement at an early age.
“Once when I was 4 years old, the police were called to a place down the street from where I lived,” said Lara.
“(My mother) looked down and I was gone. When she looked up, I was in the police car playing with the car radio. I guess I always admired (police) and wanted to be one, even if I didn’t know I was going to end up here.”
How did you become involved in law enforcement?
“I started working for Lubbock EMS about five and a half years ago. I didn’t know much about the emergency services. I kind of just started out there. My best friend’s dad got me into it. After working for Lubbock EMS for awhile, I began to work for the fire department.
“The fire department is pretty cool. I went to Wolfforth’s fire academy and graduated from there. While I was there I met a lot of cool people from Wolfforth and the EMS. One of them was going to go through the law enforcement academy and he talked me into going with him. That’s kind of how I ended up here.”
What was training like?
“It was tough. I was finishing one academy (fire) while I was starting another. I knew nothing about law enforcement. We had really good instructors. That’s kind of what got me out here in Wolfforth. Chief (Rick) Scott, Officer Cisneros and Officer McFarland all taught different classes at the academy. They were good instructors, so it was easy.”
Didn’t Chief Scott tell the Wolfforth City Council he got one of the best trainees from the SPAG academy when he ended up with you? What did you think of Wolfforth?
“I was impressed with Wolfforth. I was impressed with Officer (Randy) Cisneros. I was impressed with Officer (Rob) McFarland. They were very knowledgeable — the type of police officer I wanted to be. Sure enough, when I applied, the one place I wanted to go was Wolfforth.”
What do you enjoy about your work?
“I enjoy the fact that you can help out someone in a time of need. When someone needs help, I was taught to be someone who steps in that role. My mind and body work well enough, so I can help out.”
What inspired you about the job? What gets you up in the morning?
“My family, my friends. It may be something as small as me patrolling a neighborhood, trying to get a bad guy, a bad guy who is going to hurt someone I know or love. Maybe I am doing some small role keeping others from getting hurt.”
What impact do you want to make here?
“I don’t want to be a superhero. I just want to do my part to build a safe, clean neighborhood.”
Where do you want to be five years from now?
“I like this department a lot. Every day I learn something new. I get to know someone better. Who knows?
What’s the job’s most challenging aspect?
“The main thing I discovered is a lot of people have a mistrust toward the police. I don’t always get a wave, I don’t always get a smile. In fact, it’s usually a frown. I wish people would realize the police department is there not to take away their rights when they get a speeding ticket.
“The reason they got a speeding ticket was because they were speeding. Sure they might be late to work or have something pressing, but is that worth the extra five miles an hour? Is it worth killing a small child crossing the road or them rolling their vehicle or hurting someone else who was completely innocent?
“That’s mainly it. I wish the public realized we aren’t here to take away their rights.”