I would like to update you on HAPCOA’s National Board activities since our symposium last November. We have finalized negotiations with the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio for our 2014 National Training Symposium to be held the week of December 1-5, 2014. I think all of you planning to attend this year’s symposium will be pleased with our selection to have our 41st annual event at the historic St. Anthony Hotel (http://www.thestanthonyhotel.com/).
I am also excited to announce we are putting together a varied curriculum with emphasis on mental health. Therefore, we have chosen CALL FOR HELP – DO YOU KNOW THE SIGNS? as this year’s 2014 National Training Symposium theme. This theme especially hits home for me because one of my best friends, my colleague, committed suicide a year and a half ago. Trust me, there isn’t a day goes by I don’t ask myself if I missed a “Call for Help”. I actually called my friend and left him a voice mail message that morning before he did the unthinkable. Did you know that in 2012, 126 law enforcement officers committed suicide? In addition, law enforcement officers commit suicide one to five times more frequently than other occupations. I think too many times we in law enforcement feel we can handle any situation and this could never happen to us or anyone we know, but I ask you – “Do You Know the Signs?” I don’t think enough attention/discussion is given to this topic and that is why at the 2014 Symposium we are going to dedicate time and education/classes to ensure you as managers have a better understanding as to what drives an individual to contemplate this horrific act and what steps can be taken to potentially stop this from happening again.
On a separate topic, we are honored to announce retired SAIC Javier Pena, DEA (Houston) and retired Uniformed Division Officer Manny Ovalle, U.S. Secret Service, Washington, DC have accepted appointed positions on HAPCOA’s National Board as Director Emeritus and Director at Large respectively. In these roles, both Javier and Manny will represent HAPCOA at official events, attend board meetings, support on going HAPCOA projects and offer help with fund raising events and membership activities.
As part of our efforts to keep up with technology, I encourage everyone to visit our updated HAPCOA website and view the latest information regarding the 2014 Symposium, job postings and latest HAPCOA news. As a reminder, if you know someone of Hispanic descent who is a Law Enforcement Explorer and who planning to attend college, demonstrates leadership qualities and volunteers service in their community please encourage them to apply for the HAPCOA Law Enforcement Explorer Scholarship. Also active HAPCOA members (and members of their immediate family) may apply for the HAPCOA Scholarship. Please ensure anyone applying meets the Award Criteria as listed on the website and completes the requested information no later than August 1, 2014.
In closing, I encourage you to continue your efforts in identifying the next generation of Hispanic leaders in law enforcement and support them in achieving their highest potential.
Thank you for your continued support.
2014 National Board President