Chief Alberto Hidalgo, Bay Town’s respected man in blue. Tall, on the heavy side, but muscular, he makes for an imposing figure. His commanding presence is often offset by his “unbefitting giggle for a man his size.” Although only his friends are privileged to the humor.
Readers quipped that they love “Chief Bert.” He cares for and protects his residents of Bay Town. He’s a complex character, and creating him was more complicated than if he was just the Chief everyone adored. His many layers uncover a man whose blue uniform commands and deserves respect. You’ll know why if you read Shattered Guilt, but I can share a bit of it here without spoilers.
He and his wife Catalina, lovingly referred to as Lina, were originally from New Mexico. After receiving a Law Enforcement Personnel of the Year Award and hitting the big headlines, Bert was well sought after by many cities and towns across the U.S. The backstory is in Shattered Guilt.
Sally Trotman spear-headed a committee bringing the chief to Bay Town. You’ll read about this feisty senior citizen in just about every Bay Town book. She even has her own Christmas Novel, “Let Them Eat Fruitcake,” releasing in 2022.
FAITH AND MEN IN BLUE
The difficulty I had in creating Chief Bert’s character was his faith. He’s one of those that believe, but we’re not sure of his level of commitment. Government officials don’t have the liberty to openly share their faith, but God prevails, and where there is a will, there is a way. My son is a Deputy Sheriff, and he’s used God’s Word to subdue men in jails when they started screaming random scriptures or spouting the name of the Lord. Ironically, his faith connection calmed them down.
Yet Chief Bert is not there. But with five more books in the works, I’m sure he’ll come around. His wife is Catholic, and she attends the local parish but hangs with the Bay Town Community church ladies. They include Melanie and Lyla, both of whom are married to two of Bert’s good friends. He keeps good company with these men of faith. Pastor Desmond, Big Joe, and Chief Bert could be coined the Three Musketeers of Bay Town.
Chief Bert and Lina moved to Bay Town, seeking a slower-paced life. But when human trafficking rears its ugly head, he’s thrown in the middle. Having busted prostitution rings and helped save young women back in New Mexico, he’s not new to crime and corruption, so he was well equipped to protect the innocent.
RESPECT THE BLUE
I created Bay Town as a small city. So small, in fact, that their law enforcement consists of the chief and one other officer, Rodney Blaine. Between the two, they can handle the mundane, but whenever crime ramps up, they call in the Hancock County Sheriffs for backup. With Chief Bert’s big city bust experience, he knows who and when to call, even enlisting the FBI.
With all the police bashing going on these days, I wanted to portray a respected, honest, commanding, but likable presence. My son is a Deputy Sheriff, and I have a few Sherriff friends whom I’ve known for years. I love and respect them all, so having a dishonest crook for law enforcement won’t be in my books. I know they’re out there, but not in my world.
BAY TOWN POLICE
Besides, who doesn’t adore Andy of Mayberry? Chief Bert is no Andy but no less loved, and I hope you’ll enjoy befriending this big loveable “grizzly.” So far, my readers have. I don’t have a book of his own planned yet, but that could change. Right now, we can rest that he’s protecting the good citizens of Bay Town.
Tomorrow is release day for Restored Grace! I’ve been waiting a long time for this day. I wrote the book about five years ago before I was signed with Celebrate Lit Publishing, so it’s been rolling around my head and my computer for quite a while. I’m excited, and I hope you are too. Please enter the giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of Revived Hope and a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Just two days left to enter!