South Texas Health System Recognizes 12 Edinburg Police Officers and a Longtime STHS Security Guard

Monday, March 25, 2024
STHS Recognizing the Officers and Security Guard with a hometown Heroes Award

Hospitals and healthcare systems like South Texas Health System have vigorous protocols in place to detect, deescalate and deter threats of violence at their facilities. However, threats of violence against hospital employees still happen, and they require swift, level-headed action to keep them from escalating.

On the morning of Saturday, January 27, an 18-year-old man arrived at the main lobby at South Texas Health System Children’s and aggressively confronted the security guard on duty, Hugo Iglesias, demanding to visit a hospitalized patient. When he was denied permission to enter the premises, the suspect told Iglesias that he had a gun and threatened harm, per the Edinburg Police Department’s report. Iglesias immediately activated code protocols, which provide a rapid, organized and thorough situational response. He stayed calm and led the suspect out of the main lobby and directed him to an empty building several yards away.

Once police arrived, they attempted to speak with the suspect, but he fled the scene and officers had to chase him down. He was later apprehended and taken into custody. Police conducted a security sweep of the facility after it was placed on lockdown due to safety concerns. It was quickly lifted once police deemed the hospital safe. The suspect was charged with terroristic threats and other charges.

“Because of Hugo’s calmness during this code event, Hugo successfully prevented the aggressive male from harming anyone during this violent threat. And Edinburg Police arrived quickly to arrest the suspect,” said Jeffrey Vasey, System Director of Security & Safety, South Texas Health System. “South Texas Health System is extremely grateful for Hugo’s bravery and calm demeanor in confronting the aggressor and his unwavering commitment to helping keep our hospital safe from harm. And kudos to the Edinburg police officers who rushed to dispel a potentially violent situation.”

To recognize and salute Iglesias and the 12 members of the Edinburg Police Department who responded to the call for their bravery and swift action in deescalating a potentially serious situation at STHS Children’s, South Texas Health System honored them with its Hometown Heroes Award at a special award at the Edinburg Police Department on Thursday, March 21, 2024.

Nominate a first responder for a Hometown Heroes Award

If you know of a first responder who deserves to be recognized with a Hometown Heroes Award, you can submit a nomination on our website. 

“It’s just beautiful to see that the process and procedures in place for a code that doesn’t get called often were handled in a rapid and professional manner. The City of Edinburg is honored that South Texas Health System not only recognized its employee, but also the Edinburg police officers that responded to that call,” said Daniel “Dan” Diaz, Edinburg city council member. “This is a special event because it happened at a hospital; it’s something that could have had a much different outcome. But it was handled very professionally and appropriately following the procedures in place and with collaboration with our police officers; it was a great outcome and its just special to see all the individuals involved being recognized by South Texas Health System.”

In addition to Iglesias, who has worked for South Texas Health System for 23 years, STHS will also recognize the following members of the Edinburg Police Department: Sgt. Rogelio Paez, Sgt. Jose Arambula, Officer Ernesto Rodriguez, Officer Jose Ramos, Officer Daniela Galvan, Officer Mario Rodriguez, Officer David Sanchez, Officer Fernando Cervantes, Officer Roy Miranda, Officer Steve Blake, Officer Rodolfo Leija and Det. Joel Pulido.

In gratitude for their actions, the 13 individuals received special Hometown Heroes plaques, which South Texas Health System presents throughout the year to exceptional first responders for their outstanding service in the call of duty, during the event attended by City of Edinburg, Edinburg Police Department and South Texas Health System leaders.