La Feria News

Texas Senate commends local law enforcement official for 40 years of outstanding service

Donald Duncan, left, poses with Texas State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. after receiving a certificate of commendation for his many years of service in public safety. Courtesy photo


There are many sayings that could describe Donald “Don” Duncan’s career as a police officer. “You get what you put in” and “Hard work pays off” are just a couple of examples.

Duncan recently received a certificate of commendation from the Senate of the State of Texas and Texas House of Representatives for 40 years of service in public safety. The award was presented to Duncan by State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. and State Rep. Eddie Lucio III.

“It was an acclamation for my years of service; unblemished service,” Duncan said. “No problems, no bad records or anything like that in law enforcement. I have always served the people of Texas diligently and professionally, and, of course, unbiased. I don’t care what color they are or anything like that. I just want to make sure what I do is the right thing to do.”

Duncan’s service began back in his younger years as one of the youngest officers to start in Harlingen at the age of 17. Of course, Duncan could not join the force at that age and had to wait until he was 21 years old, but he was able to work around the department with dispatch and animal control.

Duncan holds the commendation awards he recently received. Photo: Billy Watson / LFN

He joined the police academy at 18 and was later commissioned as a police officer for the Harlingen Police Department, and that is where his work in law enforcement officially began.

“After two years, I won a scholarship from the Department of Justice to go to college,” Duncan said. “They paid for all of my college, all my books and everything.”

Duncan was able to study at Cornell University, Texas A&M University and received additional training from the FBI.

One of Duncan’s greatest achievements, however, was setting up a criminal justice department at Northeast Independent School District in San Antonio, a program that Duncan said is still in use today.

“I set that program up and I taught it for a while,” he said.

Following teaching in San Antonio, Duncan came back to the Rio Grande Valley and was chosen as the Director of Public Safety for one of the largest hospital groups in Texas. While at that post, he was in charge of more than 200 officers.

“I enjoyed doing it and I fit right into that program,” he said.

Shortly afterward, Duncan also got his pilot’s license and he loves to fly.

Coming from a poor family, Duncan’s many years of hard work relate to why he got the award, and he wants to keep on going.

“My greatest ambition is to serve the people,” Duncan said. “That’s, I guess, one of the reasons why I got chosen for this award. As far as I know, nobody else in the Valley has ever had anything like that.”

After recently losing a competitive race for the Constable Precinct 5 position, Duncan hopes to be back for the next election.

Photo: Billy Watson / LFN
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