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Muzzafer Siddiqi has always acknowledged the responsibility to serve and protect citizens in Houston. "People call me all hours of the day," says the officer for the Houston police department. "If someone needs me to be there at 3am, I'll be there."
His commitment to the job landed him a special position with the HPD last year: to serve as liaison to the city's South Asian community.
Siddiqi's duties included dealing with civil matters, issues of domestic violence, and conducting general investigations of crimes that involve the South Asian community.
Now, the immigrant officer from Pakistan has earned one of the top honours of the police department for his tremendous work ethic: the "Officer of the Year" award.
"He's done a real fine job," said Chief of Police C O Bradford at the May 17 gala. "Officer Siddiqi has done an exemplary job of working within the various divisions, especially as a liaison officer.
"There's a language barrier with many of the South Asians here and he's done a real good job of interacting with everyone, and has provided [valuable] information to convenience store owners," he continued. "We're real proud of him."
Houston has one of the largest South Asian populations in the country, with more than 50,000 people. With the recent wave of convenience store owners being murdered, Siddiqi has been prominent in helping them avoid such circumstances.
"What I do mostly is provide basic tips," Siddiqi said. "People need to be aware... safety comes first."
Siddiqi has been with the HPD for nearly five years. He migrated to the United States from Pakistan more than a decade ago to be with his mother and sister.
His family operates a gas station and gift shop in Houston. But life as a police officer has always been exciting for Siddiqi.
"Once you've experienced the thrill of being an officer, you don't always want to give it up," he said.
Serving people is dear to Siddiqi. "When I have solved someone else's problems and go home, it's like winning a million-dollar lottery," he observed. "People genuinely appreciate the help I have given."
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