New Orleans Police Department Police Officer 1 and Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office Deputy Andres Gonzalez Jr. was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Kenner, Louisiana. Gonzalez grew up in a close knit family, frequently taking vacations together and enjoying every second of them. He also spent a lot of time laughing with his friends and playing Cops and Robbers. In addition, he loved sports, playing soccer, baseball, and running in cross country and track.

Spending much of his childhood involved in Boy Scouts of America, Gonzalez was inspired to continue his passion of helping others and his community into his adult life and career. In June of 1999, Gonzalez joined the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy and spent five years assigned to criminal court security and as a part-time search and rescue swimmer. In 2004, he began working for the New Orleans Police Department where he was assigned to patrol. Gonzalez enjoyed every aspect of his job, from interacting with different people, to helping when and where he was needed. He had goals to rise through the ranks and eventually make it to the narcotics or K9 divisions. Throughout his honorable career, he was awarded with a Physical Training Award in the Academy, DEA Award, as well as a Merit Award.

One day while on duty, Gonzalez and his partner were involved in a quickly-escalating situation in which the occupants of a vehicle they had pulled over were in possession of firearms. Gonzalez sustained multiple gunshot wounds from the perpetrator which left him with a C5-6 spinal cord injury, a shattered eye socket, and a shattered upper jaw.

Currently, Gonzalez loves to watch sports, especially football, and spend time with his family and friends. After his injury, he started a nonprofit in the New Orleans area, Help for Heroes, in which they raise funds for injured and fallen first responders and their families as soon as possible after their incidents. Additionally, Gonzalez speaks to Academy classes and brings awareness to what can happen on the job and how fast a normal call can turn deadly at any point. In the future, he is excited to continue to help fellow first responders and speak to new recruits. He is also excited to watch his family and friends’ families grow up. Gonzalez is grateful to Tunnel to Towers for providing him with a more accessible home that meets his individualistic needs.

New Orleans Police Department Police Officer 1 and Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office Deputy Andres Gonzalez Jr. would like others to know to stay resilient and know that even if you cannot physically go back to work, you can always help those in need.