November 16, 2020 | Updated: November 16, 2020

Name: Detective Loraine Franco
Department: Galveston Police Department (GPD)
Number of Years in Law Enforcement: 17

I was a patrol officer for fourteen years before being moved to the Crime Scene Unit where I processed crime scenes from misdemeanors to felonies for the last three years. I was recently moved to the Criminal Investigation Division where I am now a detective investigating property crimes. I didn't really have anyone who influenced me in my decision to become a police officer. When I was in college, I took a few Criminal Justice classes and learned a lot from them. I interned at a few police departments and I enjoyed learning about law enforcement. I decided to pay my way through the Alvin Police Academy in 1999 and have been in Law Enforcement since I graduated. 

I remember DARE coming to my school when I was in elementary school and teaching us about 911. My parents taught my sister and me to respect police officers. We were pretty good kids and never had any negative dealings with law enforcement.     
My family, for the most part, supported my decision to join law enforcement. My mom wasn’t too thrilled about having one of her twin daughters join a potentially dangerous job; she verbalized her opinion and still supported me. 
Fortunately, we have had very few protests in our city and the ones we have had have been peaceful. Galveston Police Department (GPD) has always strived to be professional and our officers interact with the community in a positive way. We have a Citizens Police Academy, where we encourage the residents to attend to learn about the things we do at GPD and why we do them. Most of the citizens in Galveston love their police officers who continue to serve the public. 
I’ve learned that people will lie to you all day long if it gets them out of whatever they are doing wrong though. Becoming an experienced officer helps me weed out the truth from the lies. Most of the time in law enforcement you’re dealing with people who are not happy to see you. This job has taught me to adjust to every situation in the way that is needed to handle the scene. I will say that being in law enforcement has definitely taught me to be aware of my surroundings in and out of uniform. I have learned to look at all aspects of a situation/scene before jumping to conclusions. 

I learned about LETR from a GPD Sergeant in 2004. I went to my first Torch Run in San Marcos, Texas and was hooked after that. I have been involved in some way with Torch Run ever since. 

I think every year I have attended LETR Torch Run I’ve made a special memory. I have had the privilege to get to know so many different special athletes and police officers from all over Texas. I had the honor to know Marco Zarate with Bellaire PD who was tragically killed in the line of duty and Paul Weido with Houston PD who died of medical issues. Both were heavily involved with SOTX LETR and were wonderful friends. 
I have enjoyed being involved with SOTX and LETR and seeing how happy the athletes are to see us every year at the Opening Ceremonies. They always make me smile. The athletes are extremely dedicated and work so hard to be able to compete in Summer Games. I truly love their dedication. I know Covid 19 has taken a toll on our athletes and their ability to train and interact with their friends. I would say to them, “keep training and keep working hard. At some point these hard times will pass and our athletes can get back to their normal. Don’t give up!”
There haven't been many SOTX fundraisers in Galveston County for a while. Several years ago SOTX put on a Tip A Cops at Joe’s Crab Shack in Galveston. But for whatever reason that stopped. Since then, myself and my officers who attend Torch Run, attend SOTX events with the Houston crew. GPD puts on Shipley’s Cops on Top event every year in April to raise money. We also sell SOTX shirts! For the past two years we have partnered with our good friends at Relentless Defender and created our own personalized GPD Torch Run shirts to raise funds. These personalized shirts have been a hit and I can’t keep them in stock very long. 

Special thanks to Detective Lori Franco and the Galveston Police Department for your continued support of SOTX and LETR!


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