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Jose L. Villegas, Sr.

2004 Volunteer for Victims Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

Jose L. Villegas, Sr. | Volunteer for Victims Award
New Mexico Department of Corrections
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Appointed by the Santa Fe (New Mexico) Police Officers Association as its police chaplain, Jose Villegas, Sr., helps both victims and law enforcement officials deal with the emotional aftermath of violent crime. Chaplain Villegas has volunteered countless hours to assist victims of violent crime, provided counseling, led peer support discussions, and served as a youth mentor. He has also contributed time to respond to families and colleagues of officers killed in the line of duty. 

The only certified law enforcement chaplain in northern New Mexico, Chaplain Villegas is on call 24 hours a day and responds to emergencies in seven large counties. He also organizes fundraising events for families of victims and for children and adults with a terminal illness. He carries out this volunteer work in addition to holding a full time job with the New Mexico Department of Corrections, pursuing a masters degree in trauma counseling, serving on numerous community boards, and maintaining a strong relationship with his wife and two children.