New Nixon Police Chief Chris Aviles is a busy man. In addition to being sworn in as Nixon’s top law enforcement officer in April, Aviles also holds Seguin’s District 3 city council seat and serves as the interim president of the Seguin-Guadalupe County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He said he does it all to give back to the communities that helped raise him.
“When I grew up here, I was very underprivileged, grew up in the poverty level here,” Aviles said. “The community here, when I was child, really gave us a lot.”
Aviles was born in Nixon and spent his childhood in between there and Seguin. After graduating from Nixon-Smiley High School in 1996, he joined the Army and eventually rose to the rank of chief warrant officer two.
In between military stints, Aviles became involved in law enforcement. He began as a Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office detention officer and then got into police academy. Following graduation, he worked as a police officer in the City of Selma for eight years. Aviles had also worked with the Guadalupe County Constable Precinct 2 office prior to his position in Nixon.
When Aviles saw the chief opening in Nixon, he knew it was time to come home.
“I had seen this opportunity come up before, back in 2014. I just didn’t feel that I was ready for it at the time,” Aviles said. “When this opportunity came up this time, everything fell into place.”
Aviles’ overarching goal as chief is to build community relationships. He’s confident in the department’s ability to strengthen these relationships in Nixon’s small-town setting.
Other specific goals include creating a more robust and cohesive team in the police department, fostering fresh ideas like possibly adding a K-9 officer and improving diversity in the office.
“Nixon is predominately Hispanic, so we’ll bring Spanish speaking officers in,” Aviles said. “Bring programs that would allow the people to be open to us and receptive to us, so if there is crime happening here, we know about it and we can help meet those needs. One of the biggest philosophies I want to adopt is community-oriented policing.”
Among the crime-related issues facing Nixon, drugs and child abuse are distinguishable above all else. Aviles believes community involvement and maintaining a healthy relationship between the police and the citizens are the keys to rising above these issues.
“it starts with the community,” Aviles said. “For one person to do it all, it’s impossible. I’m not Superman. I can’t be at two places at one time and neither can the police officers. If the community and the police work together, we can more proactive than reactive.”
In April, Nixon-Smiley Consolidated Independent School District school board implemented a new, more comprehensive drug testing policy meant to address student drug use. Aviles emphasized a proactive approach to preventing drug use in children and young adults.
“When you have a child that’s exposed [to drugs and drug use], you’re basically going to set them up for failure and literally they will become society’s problem,” Aviles said. “If you don’t take care of it before, you’re going to take care of it later on.”
Aviles said it’s important to embrace and mentor children, and to not ostracize or marginalize them. He believes these positive influences can set up a child to succeed and eventually lead them to give back to the community.
Community service is at the heart of Aviles’ messaging. He made sure to reaffirm his commitment to the city and desire to leave a lasting impact on the city.
“I’m here to stay. I love this community. There’s still people here that have known me since I was a kid,” Aviles said. “I’ve seen the changes that took place here and some of the changes that haven’t taken place, and I really want to make a difference, all for the positive.”