Jose Trevino is a fraud investigator with several years of law enforcement experience. He’s also a council member for the city of Granger in Washington State.
He was born in McAllen, Texas, and had a routine upbringing until his parents divorced in when he was 5 years old. His mother decided to move to Washington to work as a migrant worker in the orchid fields. She took Jose and his younger brother with her while his father, a police officer, stayed in Texas.
Given that his father had worked in law enforcement, Jose decided to pursue a similar path.
When Jose was in high school, he joined the Explorers Program, offered by local police departments to boys ages 15 to 20 to gain the necessary skills to pursue a law enforcement career.
He was just 20 years old when he became a police officer for the Mabton Police Department. It was a big accomplishment as the minimum age requirement to join any police squad was 21 years old. However, Mabton Police Chief Roberts was so impressed by Jose’s dedication he requested an age waiver from the governor’s office. Jose was hired as the youngest member of the squad — able to carry a firearm and to fully exercise the duties and responsibilities of a police officer.
Two years later, he began working for the Sunnyside Police Department, where he devoted himself to public service and, in 1999, was promoted to sergeant. In 2007, he became a fraud investigator.
Jose shares how his bicultural background played a key role in his ability to better serve his community:
“Of course, my Latino background is important to understand my community,” he said. “But I would say I am an American first. That means that I have the freedoms and options to pursue any path I choose. Whether you are born in America or are a naturalized citizen, you have equal access to opportunities, just like everybody else.”
Jose attributes his success to being able to embrace the rights and responsibilities that come with being an American.
“I embrace the Constitution that protects us. To me, freedom of speech and the Second Amendment are two of the most important Constitutional rights. In other countries, such as China, North Korea, or the Middle East, if you say something against your government or offend someone, you can be sent to jail or even killed. Your freedom is taken away. Here you can speak freely. Even the media can report without fearing being censored,” he said.
He also believes emphatically that restricting these rights could have a detrimental impact on the lives of all Americans.
“As far as the Second Amendment, we have the right to bear arms and defend our homes and our neighbors if they are in danger, but most importantly, we can defend our country if it comes to that. In fact, even back in World War II, when Japan attacked the U.S., they actually had ground troops ready to attack us. They chose not to do it because they knew that our citizens were armed. As a country, we are better protected when other countries know that we are armed and ready to defend ourselves.”
Being passionate about exercising these important rights manifested in his commitment to serve his community. Jose’s involvement in politics stemmed from his desire to become a voice that would represent the interests of those he served. In 2013, he was elected as a councilman in Granger, Washington.
Jose currently lives in the city of Granger with his wife and daughter. He continues to work as a fraud investigator and hopes to retire in about eight years.
As a proud American, he hopes to inspire others to embrace and exercise the rights and responsibilities that come with being part of this country.
“Be an independent thinker, work hard, and be a good contributor to society,” Jose said. “Respect your country, and if you work hard, you can accomplish anything.”
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