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The original item was published from 5/11/2023 4:32:12 PM to 7/31/2023 12:12:57 PM.

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Police Department Press Releases

Posted on: May 11, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Justin Cunningham Law Enforcement Award

Mario Baeza Justin Cunningham Award 2023

This morning, the Ector County District Attorney’s Office hosted a celebration honoring the life of First Assistant District Attorney Justin Cunningham. 

Retired OPD Detective Mario Baeza is this year's recipient of the Justin Cunningham Law Enforcement Award. This is a very special award given to those that have shown exemplary service to the community. Mario's family, friends, and colleagues attended the momentous occasion. 

In the past, Mario Baeza and Justin Cunningham had worked on cases together. "I am honored and humbled to obtain this award," Mario says. "Everyone in law enforcement is in my heart." 

He also thanked his wife, Judge Elizabeth Baeza, for supporting him, pushing him, and encouraging him. He says that she helped him become who he is today.

Mario Baeza worked at the Odessa Police Department for 27 years and 2 months before retiring last January. He started in Patrol, then worked in Property investigations, Persons investigations, and Homicide investigations. He spent 15 years in OPD's Children's Crime Unit.

Congratulations to Mario Baeza!

Justin Cunningham

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