The Kingsville Police Department announced to the Kingsville City Commissioners that they would like to start a new scholarship with Texas A&M University-Kingsville. This issue was on the agenda of the city meeting on October 10 where Police Chief Torres presented the item to the commissioners.
“This is a good way to help the kids in our community,” Torres said.
The scholarship will be named The Sergeant Gene Christopher and Patrolmen Felix Luna Salinas City of Kingsville Law Enforcement Scholarship. It is named after two officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Sergeant Christopher was shot and killed with his own service weapon while backing up another officer at a bar disturbance. When Sergeant Christopher arrived he encountered several officers attempting to restrain one of the subjects involved in the disturbance. As Sgt. Christopher assisted the officers the man grabbed his service revolver and shot him in the chest. Sgt. Christopher died on Sunday, February 9, 1958 at the age of 26.
Patrolman Salinas was killed when a drunk driver who was speeding and failed to stop at a stop sign struck his patrol car. Patrolman Salinas’ partner was injured in the accident. The driver was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years probation. Patrolman Salinas died on Friday, May 29, 1981 at the age of 29.
“This is a good way to keep those officer’s memories alive,” Torres said.
The scholarship is awarded to graduating high school seniors pursuing a law enforcement degree at TAMUK.
The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of the City of Kingsville and a graduate from a City of Kingsville high school. The applicant must have a 78 or higher high school average or 2.8 GPA based on a 7-semester transcript and plan to enroll following graduation as a full-time student at TAMUK in law enforcement or a law enforcement related field.
The applicant must complete an application and write an essay of not more than 150 words stating why the applicant is interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement and how this scholarship will assist him/her in getting a degree. The applicant is further required to enumerate on his leadership skills, involvement in the community, demonstrate financial need, academic achievement, special honors, etc. The applicant is also required to submit an unofficial transcript and three letters of recommendation.
A committee of members from the departments of psychology, sociology, and criminology at TAMUK will manage the awarding of the scholarship.
The scholarship is renewable once a year, for four years, contingent on funding and on the student maintaining full enrollment status at TAMUK and maintaining at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA at the end of the year. If the student’s GPA at the end of the first semester is very low to the point where it will be impossible to garner a 2.5 GPA at the end of the first academic year, the university retains the right to not award for the second semester.
Deadline for the application must be turned in to the university no later than March 15th.
For more information contact the Department of Criminology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
By: Claudia Garcia