Meet the two newest county deputies

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 5, 2007

By Sarah Light, staff writer

If they can help prevent one person from straying over onto the wrong road, then it will all be worth it.

That&8217;s the goal of the Freeborn County Sheriff&8217;s Office two newest patrol deputies, Marcelino Pe&110;a and Darin Hable.

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Pe&110;a, who is originally from the Denver area, started patrolling in the middle of April after working in the Freeborn County Detention Center since 2004.

Hable, who has lived in the area for most of his life, started on patrol in January. Like Pe&110;a, he worked as a county detention center officer before being promoted from within the department to his new position.

&8220;They&8217;re both very family-orientated, very mature and very public-orientated,&8221; said Chief Deputy Gene Arnold of the two deputies. &8220;They both have the values we&8217;re looking for in deputies.&8221;

Pe&110;a is the county&8217;s first bilingual officer. He received his training from the Colorado State Patrol Academy and has been involved in law enforcement for 17 years.

During this time, he worked on deep undercover narcotics and gangs, including a stint on a Minnesota drug task force.

He also has a two-year degree in criminal justice.

He met his wife, Deb, when he came to Albert Lea to visit and has been in the area now for eight years. They have two children, Kasey, 17, and Tanner, 8.

Pe&110;a said he likes the freedom of law enforcement and enjoys helping people, especially children, get back on the right track after they have veered into trouble.

Hable, son of Darris and Judy Hable, received a two-year law enforcement degree from Riverland Community College and took skills training courses in Rochester.

He is married to his high school sweetheart, Candace. The couple has two children, Chris, 20, and Kaylee, 19.

During his job, Hable said, he most enjoys his interaction with the public &8212; and like Pe&110;a, especially helping children.

&8220;If you can touch one person from straying over the bad line, you sure can change a community as a whole,&8221; he said.

He took after his grandfather who was a police chief, he said.

Pe&110;a and Hable said they both can see themselves working in this position for a while.

&8220;As long as (Sheriff) Mark Harig is around, I&8217;ll be around for a while,&8221; Pe&110;a said. &8220;His integrity, honesty, loyalty … it&8217;s very rare to find that in an employer.&8221;