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For 28 years, Waxahachie Police Department support staff employee, Griselda Camacho, has helped residents and officers with a friendly smile and welcoming spirit.

“We are like family here,” said the 1987 Waxahachie High School graduate, who began her career with the agency in May 1992.

“I originally wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “I took some classes at Executive Secretarial School. Then an opportunity came up and I went to work for 2 ½ years for Justice of the Peace Maurice Lowrey.

“The (WPD) job just fell in my lap,” she said. “[Lowrey] was a retired WPD officer and he made me aware that the police department was hiring. Allwin Barrow was chief then and I was hired as a receptionist.”

Camacho then became a records clerk, working for 15 years in the Criminal Investigation Division, before becoming a public service officer, a position implemented by Chief of Police Wade Goolsby.

“Other departments had these positions,” Camacho said. “The purpose is to have civilian employees perform minor functions such as preparing all police and crash reports, helping citizens, taking simple police reports such as theft and fraud. This was done to help our citizens.

“Previously, citizens had to wait for an officer to come to the department to do these things,” she said. “Now, the citizens don’t have to wait and this allows the officers to remain on the streets to serve and protect our citizens.”

Outside of her work at the police department, Camacho is an avid runner and biker, completing her first full marathon when she turned 40.

“I and my friends ran the marathon together, talking the entire time,” she said. “I enjoy my friends and we get together on Saturdays to take long bike rides, have coffee and share our secrets. I spend a lot of time with my confidential group as we exercise together.”

Camacho married her husband David in August 1986; they have a daughter, Erica.

A self-described “people person,” Camacho said she loves to give hugs, for which she sometimes catches flak from her daughter as she says, “Mother, you shouldn’t hug everyone.”

To this Camacho replies, “Sometimes people need a hug.”

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