CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Enrique Paredez Jr. graduated from Robstown High School and joined the Robstown Police Department nearly 25 years ago.
On Thursday, Paredez announced he was stepping down from his service as police chief as he battles melanoma cancer.
Paredez, who has been police chief for less than two years, says he will remain with the force as a lieutenant. It's a position he held earlier in his career.
While he declined our request for an on-camera interview earlier Thursday, he did issue a written statement explaining his decision.
It read in part "this illness does not allow me to be 100% for the police department and the citizens of Robstown as I only know to be."
Paredez became chief when Gilbert Gomez became Robstown's mayor in early 2020. They go back to their days together on the force.
That explains why Gomez says finding the right man to succeed Paredez will be difficult.
"I was lucky I think when we came onboard that Chief Paredez was with the police department already," Gomez told Action 10 News. "I knew him because I worked with him for so many years. I knew his character. I knew what he stood for. I knew how hard he worked. That was easy. This second choice will not be as easy."
Gomez wants Robstown's next top cop to possess many of the same traits he saw in Paredez. He wants the new police chief to be a leader in the department and the community.
"You have to lead by example," Gomez said. "You want your officers to follow your lead, which is doing the best for the community. You have to show them that."