By Pat Caldwell
NYSSA — Greg Armenta was working as the Nyssa water superintendent when a simple car ride changed his career trajectory.
Armenta accepted an invitation for a ride-along with the Nyssa Police Department. He realized his true calling.
“I absolutely fell in love with the job,” he said.
Armenta’s 10-year police career – five as a reserve and five as a patrolman – was highlighted when the Nyssa Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture chose him as its Public Servant of the Year.
“I am very honored and yes it was a surprise,” he said.
Armenta played an active role in the community by coaching soccer, basketball and softball. His three daughters graduated from Nyssa High School.
Along with his regular duties, Armenta also directs the fielding training of new police and reserve officers and he maintains the department’s vehicles.
Armenta said it is hard to single out on aspect of his work he likes the best.
“It is so hard to nail down. There are so many facets of my job that I enjoy — keeping Nyssa safe, dealing with people,” he said.
Armenta said he is grateful for one thing when it comes to being a police officer.
“In our community we have a lot of support for our police department,” he said.
He said he enjoys interacting with the residents he serves, even those who are – for whatever reason – on the wrong side of the law.
“Ninety-percent of the people (who break the law) that I deal with are not bad people, but they made a bad decision,” he said.
Armenta is busy with steps to enhance his career. For example, he takes on-line classes in an effort to earn a psychology degree from Liberty University, a private Christian school in Virginia.
Armenta said while he is grateful for the chamber recognition, he believes his success is possible because he is part of a strong corps of police officers.
“Without the rest of the team, I wouldn’t be as good at my job as I am,” he said.