San Benito, Texas (KVEO)—San Benito Commission announced Tuesday they appointed a new police chief for the city.
Mario Perea, who had been the Assistant Chief of Police since March, was appointed on Nov. 5 during a special meeting.
Perea will take over for Fred Bell, who has been taking the role of both Interim Chief of Police and Assistant City Manager.
According to a news release, San Benito City Manager Manuel De La Rosa made the recommendation to appoint Perea to the Commission in accordance with Texas Local Government Code Chapter 143 and after discussions with the San Benito Police Employee Association.
He ultimately decided to make the recommendation at this time so that Interim Chief Bell could return to his role as Assistant City Manager.
“Being named Chief of Police for the City of San Benito is a great honor,” Perea said. “The police chief’s office comes with great responsibilities and I would like to thank the City Commission and City Administration for providing me with this opportunity to lead the department.
“I look forward to building a positive relationship with the community and working together to keep our community safe. We have a great department with great personnel and we will continue to work hard to provide excellent service to the citizens of San Benito and its visitors.”
Perea began his distinguished career with SBPD in 2005 as a patrolman. Four years later, he was re-assigned to the Special Investigative Unit where he received his K-9 handler certification. At that time, he also assisted in narcotics investigations.
In 2012, Perea returned to the patrol division and continued his rise up the ranks in the department as he was promoted to sergeant in November of that year, to lieutenant in April 2013 and captain in June 2013.
Perea held the captain position until March 16, 2020 when he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Chief of Police.
“In regards to the appointment of Chief Perea, I believe it is a good selection on behalf of the Assistant City Manager and City Manager. Many of us on the SBPEA Executive Board has worked along with Chief Perea since the beginning of his career, and we have seen his growth, victories and struggles throughout his career. I have seen him push officers to their best potential, and I have seen him sacrifice his days off to come into work and fill in when a supervisor is absent for one reason or another. He is a very fair and impartial person, he treats everyone with respect, and listens to an entire scenario before making a decision,” said Andrade.
Chief Perea’s appointment takes effect on Thursday, Nov. 12.