MPD adds eighth reserve officer


Purple Heart recipient

by: HOLLY M. GILL - Charlie Villanueva, 23, left, is the Madras Police Department's newest reserve officer. City Administrator Gus Burril swore Villanueva in on April 2, at the new police station. Police Chief Tom Adams is at right, behind Burril.Nearly three years after earning a Purple Heart when he was seriously injured in Iraq, Charlie Villanueva is looking for a career in law enforcement.

Last week, Villanueva, 23, was sworn in as the Madras Police Department's newest reserve office.

"I want to start a career in law enforcement, and I thought this would be a stepping stone — a foot in the door," said Villanueva, whose proud family gathered for the swearing-in ceremony.

Besides his family, officials from the Jefferson County Fire Department, where he has volunteered for the past year, and Police Chief Tom Adams also showed up to show their support.

"We're proud to have him onboard," said Adams, noting that the department will now have eight reserve officers and nine employees, plus a vacancy for a new officer.

Born and raised in Madras, Villanueva earned his GED in 2007, and joined the Oregon National Guard in 2008. The U.S. Army specialist was activated in 2010, and served in Iraq until 2011.

In Balad, Iraq, he was injured when his convoy came under attack and a rocket-propelled grenade hit his turret in July 2011. He later received a Purple Heart, and returned to Madras in October 2011.

Since November, Villanueva has been working at Bright Wood, where he plans to continue working.