I believe serving in some capacity was something I was born to do. Both parents, my brother, both grandfathers, two uncles, and multiple cousins have all served in the Armed Forces. My whole life I’ve been surrounded by people that told me that a hero is someone who dedicates their life to something bigger than themselves. I remember during my college years at Virginia Tech, I would see the Corps of Cadets around campus, and I admired them for their service and sacrifice, even in a training environment.
After graduating college, a bus dropped me off somewhere in Lake Charles, Louisiana and because the food was so good, I decided I would stay a while. To be truthful, my best friend in college had moved to Louisiana with her husband and she had told me of a job opportunity there. While waiting, I stumbled upon a commercial that the local police department was hiring. Both of my parents had been Military Police Officers. I thought to myself that service to others and being part of something bigger than myself was something I was raised to do, so I decided to pursue a law enforcement career.
I was hired by the Lake Charles Police Department in 2016, but I decided I needed to serve in another capacity. I enlisted into the United States Army with the Louisiana National Guard as a Military Police Officer in 2017. After graduation, I returned to Lake Charles, Louisiana and transferred to the Calcasiue Parish Sheriff’s Office. While at CPSO, I was an FTO, SWAT Operator and I served on the Honor Guard. On the National Guard side, I attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 2020. Two days after graduation, I was notified I would be deploying to the Middle East with the 239 TH Military Police Company.
After completing my overseas tour, I returned home and realized that there is no place I would rather be than on a ranch out in Harper, Texas with my family. I packed my bags and my gumbo recipe and moved to Texas. I was able to get in contact with the Kerrville Police Department while I was deployed and was able to start the application process from the other side of the world. I was hired by KPD and attended the AACOG Police Academy in San Antonio.
I’ve been employed with the Kerrville Police Department for a year now. I’m excited about the opportunities for career progression here. It’s a strong team environment. Serving the people of Kerrville has been an experience like no other. This community supports law enforcement and it shows each and every day I come to work. I am proud to serve not only this country but this great and wonderful community that I now get to call home.
— Officer Amanda Ake
I was born in Kerrville and grew up here until my family moved to the northeast side of San Antonio, when I was 11. I went to Judson High School and played football as a Judson Rocket. I became a single father, and ended up dropping out of high school. I went to work full time, and later I got into Judson Learning Academy and became a high school graduate at the age of 22 years old. I got married and started a family while working for the HEB Warehouses and working as a mechanic on the side.
I always thought how awesome it would be to become a police officer but always thought it was out of my reach. I went on an unexpected ride along with a San Antonio area department, and after just a few hours of riding in the passenger seat, I realized I had to try to make my dream come true. I felt how rewarding it would be to be able to help the people in my community when they are at their most vulnerable times. I immediately started pursuing the process of getting into the academy, expecting someone to eventually tell me, “Sorry Mr. Collier, you can’t become a police officer.” But those words were never spoken.
I obtained my Basic Peace Officer Certification in 2017 and became a police officer with the Universal City Police Department. I spent over two years there and learned a lot. I loved UCPD, but working patrol in such a busy city meant not a lot of family time, which was very important to me. I wanted a better quality of life for my family than the San Antonio metroplex offered.
I started looking into Kerrville Police Department and was impressed by the professional opportunities here. Kerrville is a beautiful city with a small town feel. My kids can play, fish, and swim, and grow up in a small town environment. Not having to get on a major highway just to run to HEB was so simple and stress relieving. The quality of the schools and classroom size meant more individual attention for my children. All of these factors made returning to my hometown an easy choice. I applied as a lateral transfer and went to work for KPD in 2020.
The Kerrville Police Department offers 12 hour shifts with overlapping shifts, which was a huge plus for me. The longer schedule allows you to spend the needed time on calls and work them to your full potential, and the overlapping shifts lets you finish up reports as the on-coming shift hits the street. The schedule means every other weekend is a three day weekend off, which allows me to spend quality time with my wife and children. I can be the husband and father they need me to be, while still having a rewarding career with KPD.
After three years here, I am absolutely loving KPD. I’m able to engage in true community policing, and be a proactive officers and seek out self-initiated activity. The supervisors trust their officers and allow you to work. The department offers several specialized units that you can move into as you progress through your career. KPD believes in training opportunities. I’ve only been here three years but I’m already a certified De-Escalation Instructor and Virtra Instructor within the department. I’m also currently a Field Training Officer, and I’m looking forward to where my career progression takes me.
I am very proud to say that I work for the Kerrville Police Department.
— Officer Jonathan Collier
My name is Ben Ledesma, and I am a Patrol Sergeant with the Kerrville Police Department. I was raised in Kerrville, Texas, and graduated from Tivy High School. I attended and graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, and ultimately returned to Kerrville. I am a husband and father of three and an active community member.
My family moved to Kerrville when I was in elementary school, and I have been fortunate to call Kerrville my home. I feel a particular connection to the citizens of Kerrville and it allows me to provide a familiar face to citizens as they come into contact with law enforcement. A familiar face can be reassuring in a moment of crisis, request for assistance, or for the circumstances of violating the law. I feel humbled to know the backstory of my friends, neighbors, and people I have grown up with.
I revere each of my law enforcement encounters with the public, as it is likely I will meet each citizen again while I am shopping with my family at the local HEB. There is a certain level of trust required in the community I serve, as well as the impression I make as I represent the Kerrville Police Department. These encounters make serving this community even more intimate and unique.
Growing up in Kerrville, I did not plan on becoming a Police Officer. I felt called to become a priest. However, it was in the sixth grade when I met and fell for the girl who would later become my wife. My focus shifted, and I entertained and participated in career paths involving youth ministry. However, my call to more profound public service still needed to be fulfilled.
I was inspired by my uncle, who had been in law enforcement throughout my existence. His service and commitment to his work were foundational for me. His commitment to the job, integrity amidst turmoil, and honor were admirable. It was a torch I felt I could carry in my community. The opportunity to work in law enforcement presented itself, and I took a chance. In turn, the Kerrville Police Department took a chance on me.
After an extensive hiring process, KPD sponsored me to attend the Alamo Area Council of Governments Law Enforcement Academy, and I graduated in 2017. I have served as a patrol officer as a detective and was recently promoted to the position of Patrol Sergeant in 2023. The Kerrville Police Department has been able to apply my passion for my community and personal drive to career opportunities and professional development. These are not opportunities that regularly present themselves in other departments.
People come from all over the world and end up in Kerrville. It is a great place to live and raise a family. I love raising my family in the rivers, creeks, hills, and woods I grew up in. There is always an event or activity for my family to participate in, and I hold no reservations about interacting with my family in public while serving in an official capacity.
As police officers, we have so much community support in Kerrville. I feel loved and appreciated in Kerrville. I am proud to serve the citizens of my hometown. Moreover, if you are a member of this community and being of greater service resonates with you. I hope you heed the call to action by accepting a career with the Kerrville Police Department.
— Officer Ben Ledesma
My family is from the panhandle in Amarillo, Texas. I grew up a military brat with my father in the Air Force. I grew up moving to new places every few years and spent several years living in Europe. When I was old enough, I joined the U.S. Army and became a Ranger assigned to 1st Bn, 75th Ranger Regiment. During my 6th year of service I was selected to become a Flight Warrant Officer and flew UH-60 Blackhawks for the next 15 years until my retirement. I became an Instructor Pilot and Standardization Officer. I deployed multiple times to Afghanistan and Iraq with the 101st Airborne Div, and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 4.
When I retired, I began flying for a Helicopter Air Ambulance company for three years. I enjoyed the people tremendously and of course enjoyed the work. However, for me, it wasn’t the same drive and satisfaction as I felt in the Army. I needed more.
My family chose to live in Kerrville when I retired from the Army because it was a growing community that kept a small town feel. We loved the area, the schools, and the people we had come to know. So moving again to find another flying job was out of the question.
I then turned my sights on joining the local police. I did my research and opted to apply to the Kerrville Police Department. I scheduled a ride along and then began the hiring process. This was no small task at the age of 43, but the Kerrville Police Department looked at the whole person and I was able to successfully complete the hiring process. During that time, I met Officers and leaders that genuinely cared about the future of the Department and the city. I saw that the Officers were encouraged to “find work” and be proactive. The leadership and the city strongly supported the Officers.
I have lived many places and Kerrville has felt like home since we moved here. During my time in the military, I had the luck to work with like-minded, mission focused people who always worked to be better every day; now at KPD I am again lucky to be around like-minded individuals who work together to serve the city of Kerrville and who share a sense of brotherhood in the profession of policing.
— Officer Jeff Robitaille
I began my Law Enforcement career with a small agency in the San Antonio area. I liked the department, but the town was primarily residential and there wasn’t much to experience much day in and day out. I wanted to learn more about law enforcement and I wanted to be constantly challenged.