A Real Superstar: Meet Willacy’s Training Manager Elizabeth Lapos

“I worked in a lot of different jobs, mostly in law enforcement, but being completely honest, this is probably the best place I’ve ever worked in my life.”

Elizabeth Lapos is the training manager at the Willacy County State Jail in Raymondville, Texas. From Minnesota, she worked in corrections for many years, moving to Raymondville in 2020. Liz has worked at Willacy for two years and has loved it.

“I’ve had some of the best bosses I’ve ever had. I’ve had some of the best coworkers I’ve ever had. I’ve met some of the best friends I’ve ever had,” she says.

Willacy Tour Staff Profile Elizabeth Lapos Still
Elizabeth Lapos, training manager.

“She’s a superstar,” says Jacob Vigliante, warden at the Willacy County State Jail. “I’ve told her that since the first day I met her. I’ve always heard great things about her and her training program and what she does. And it was evident the first day I met her.

“I think the biggest theme that you hear about Willacy is passion, and she has that passion. She’s very passionate about the training aspect and she understands that she serves a larger role than her title may give. She gets the resources that she needs and she runs with it. She truly knows how to develop a plan, organize it, and carry it out.”

Liz’s dedication and effectiveness were recently recognized by MTC’s Region III office as she was named the Region III “2023 Corporate Trainer of the Year”.

“She’s training the future leaders of Willacy County State Jail to go out there and perform a duty that not everyone can do,” says Warden Vigliante.

Willacy Tour Staff Profile Elizabeth Lapos Still
Elizabeth Lapos and cadets.

We asked Liz what she liked most about training new cadets.

“Watching the light turn on,” she says. “Watching them actually get what you’re telling them. You can see the change in the expressions. You can see the change in their demeanor. We need to make them strong so that we can be strong.”

“I’m just so proud of the staff here,” states Warden Vigliante. “As hard as they work, in the community and here inside the walls. I can’t thank the staff enough. I’m just truly blessed to be the warden at Willacy County State Jail.”