Clermont's first Hispanic officer retires

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By Linda Charlton Correspondent

CLERMONT – Approximately 125 friends, family, co-workers and well-wishers gathered at the Clermont Civic Center on Sept. 19 to celebrate the retirement of Clermont police lieutenant René Castro. Castro's first official day of retirement is October 1.

Castro has given 25 years of service to the department, and was the first Hispanic officer ever hired there.

"Twenty-five years ago, I was called every race name," Castro said at his celebration. "I didn't care. My color is blue."

Castro has been particularly active with the police explorer program, and has earned the nickname Superman.

"The Superman came from all the things I do for the community," Castro said. "I never delegate. If I screw up, I blame myself. The only thing I ask is don't stop taking care of my Special Olympics people. Keep my legacy. My biggest fear is not what I'm going to do because the gym is too big. My biggest fear is that you guys will forget me. Don't forget me."

Castro will not be disappearing from the department anytime soon, as he will remain a reserve officer.

"I'll be around," he said. "When you see me around, that's me protecting the city."