Based on information compiled by the FBI, the Lubbock Police Department has one of the most successful departments in the state, when it comes to solving crimes. The credit belongs to every police officer, especially the 13 who work the Homicide Division, but that success does not come without a price. A price their families are all too familiar with.
"He'd leave when I was real little and I never knew why and I'd always go to the window and watch him leave. Now I know when the phone rings at three or four in the morning, it's something bad and he's gone," says Justin Rey Martinez, the son of a homicide detective.
"We've had dinner with friends and right when we sat down he gets called out, he's got called out when he just went to bed an hour later," says Sandy Gomez, the wife of a homicide detective.
Justin and Sandy are two different stories, but they share a common bond. Justin's father, Rey Martinez, and Sandy's husband, John Gomez, are two of Lubbock's top detectives in the Homicide Division. The recent string of murders in Lubbock has these two men working round the clock and every hour on the job, means less time at home. But that is nothing new to their families.
"When my children were younger, I think their questions were how come Dad wasn't home for Christmas, there were several times there was a murder on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve or you might have to miss a birthday party or an anniversary," says Homicide Detective, Rey Martinez.
As homicide detectives, Martinez and Gomez share a combined 20 plus years of experience. They work side by side, with the help of 11 other detectives. Gomez admits his job is stressful, "It is not very uncommon, some of our investigations we'll work 36 to 48 straight hours working up these leads," says homicide detective, John Gomez.
Long hours well spent, when they crack a case. "Getting a suspect into custody and going to trial, and getting a verdict whether it be guilty or not guilty, and doing a case out," says Rey Martinez.
It is that dedication both Justin and Sandy admire. "I see what he does, and he helps a lot of people," says son, Justin Martinez.
"I'm so proud of him," says wife, Sandy Gomez.
Sandy Gomez says she is proud of her husband and supports his job 100%. Justin says he is so impressed with his father, he too plans on joining the police force once he turns 21.