COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Officer Javier Castillo came to the College Station Police Department in January of 2020, fresh out of college with no prior law enforcement employment.
Like a duck takes to water, he managed to navigate at least six high-risk incidents, just like he’d been at the job for years.
“He did great," said Cpl. Jason Austin, who trained Castillo. "I mean, for being as young as he is, his maturity level is pretty high, and that surprises me.”
Castillo was presented with the Houston 100 Club’s "Rookie of the Year" award this month, after being nominated by one of his supervisors.
According to the College Station Police Department, the young officer played a significant part in diffusing at least six dangerous situations, just a few months after joining patrol, and some within days of each other.
“I knew what was going on, I assessed the threat and knew what needed to be done," said Castillo, describing his first high-risk call. "And so everything from previous training, the academy and training from College Station, kicked in during that incident; in a situation where you don’t even realize that your training is kicking in.”
These incidents involved foot chases, fist fights, providing first aid for a gunshot victim, and fending of an individual with a knife.
According to Austin, it takes a lot more than just strength and fearlessness to succeed on patrol.
“The number one thing – you've got to be able to talk to people," said Austin. "...Then just, the amount of knowledge you have to retain, all the laws and policies, things like that, you’ve got to stay on top of your game with continuing education. And that’s what Ofc. Castillo does.”
While the rookie cop said his actions were just a result of good training, Castillo's nominating supervisor said that Castillo’s abilities surpass those of longtime veteran police officers.
“This is a profession where one day you might help someone and that might change your life forever," Castillo told KRHD. "And so, that’s something that I wanted to do in this career. That’s something where, even if it was only one person, that’s all that mattered to me, being able to change their life for the better.”
Castillo is one of several Brazos Valley first responders who were recognized by the Houston 100 Club this year for their actions, including Bryan and Brenham firefighters, a Brazos County Sheriff’s deputy, and former Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk.