14th Annual Christmas Baskets for needy families


HAPCOA National Board Statement Regarding Ferguson

The following statement, in response to the issues surrounding the situation in Ferguson, MO, was read aloud by Executive Director Anthony Chapa during the HAPCOA 41st Annual National Training Symposium in San Antonio, TX on December 2, 2014:

The events which transpired in Ferguson and cities throughout the United States are indicators of the deep seated resentment among community members who believe their concerns are not being viewed as valid, worthy of attention, or consideration. Law enforcement officers, imbedded as public servants, are entrusted to “maintain the peace” while fostering a safe environment where businesses and neighborhoods thrive. Special attention must be given to understanding the cultural composition of individual communities. Embracing differences and cultivating sameness encourages dialogue with members and may open avenues for change. More than ever, it is crucial to pursue solutions to the issues that are created when members of law enforcement and representatives of our criminal justice system are not reflective of the diverse populations they serve. Quick-fixes cannot be attained by destroying property, looting stores, disrupting the peace, or endangering the well-being of our fellow neighbors and police officers. The underlying issues and sentiments that give rise to these actions cannot be ignored. It is important to encourage and protect the right to protest peacefully; however, it is equally important to foster open dialogue with community and public leaders about meaningful systemic changes. The time to forge a path is now. Together, we must implement remedies that address the social ills we face while safeguarding the liberties, rights, health, and stability of our communities at large. Establishing police agencies that resemble the communities they serve and protect, from leadership to street officers, is an integral step in the solution processes. A diverse community can be strong, inclusive, and united. “Power in Unity for the Common Good” is HAPCOA’s motto and is strongly supported by its members.



WASHINGTON— On Dec. 2, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas will travel to San Antonio to deliver keynote remarks on the Department’s important collaboration with state and local law enforcement at the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association’s (HAPCOA) 41st Annual National Training Symposium and Aguila Awards Luncheon. In addition to his keynote remarks, Deputy Secretary Mayorkas will also receive the HAPCOA President’s Award, which is presented to an individual or organization that has provided significant support, direction, and guidance to HAPCOA’s membership. While in San Antonio, Deputy Secretary Mayorkas will also participate in workforce engagements with Department of Homeland Security employees.

Tuesday, Dec. 2 11:10 AM CST           

Deputy Secretary Mayorkas will deliver keynote remarks
Westin Riverwalk Hotel
Room Navarro A
420 W. Market St.
San Antonio



Fixing Our Broken Immigration System Through Executive Action

The President asked Secretary Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to undertake a rigorous and inclusive review to inform recommendations on reforming our broken immigration system through executive action. This review sought the advice and input from the men and women charged with implementing the policies, as well as the ideas of a broad range of stakeholders and Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. Our assessment identified the following ten areas where we, within the confines of the law, could take action to increase border security, focus enforcement resources, and ensure accountability in our immigration system.

DHS will implement Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Strategy to fundamentally alter the way in which we marshal resources to the border.  This new plan will employ DHS assets in a strategic and coordinated way to provide effective enforcement of our laws and interdict individuals seeking to illegally across land, sea, and air.  To accomplish this, DHS is commissioning three task forces of various law enforcement agencies.  The first will focus on the southern maritime border.  The second will be responsible for the southern land border and the West Coast.  The third will focus on investigations to support the other two task forces.  In addition, DHS will continue the surge of resources that effectively reduced the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally this summer. This included additional Border Patrol agents, ICE personnel, criminal investigators, additional monitors, and working with DOJ to reorder dockets in immigration courts, along with reforms in these courts.

Revise Removal Priorities

DHS will implement a new department-wide enforcement and removal policy that places top priority on national security threats, convicted felons, gang members, and illegal entrants apprehended at the border; the second-tier priority on those convicted of significant or multiple misdemeanors and those who are not apprehended at the border, but who entered or reentered this country unlawfully after January 1, 2014; and the third priority on those who are non-criminals but who have failed to abide by a final order of removal issued on or after January 1, 2014.  Under this revised policy, those who entered illegally prior to January 1, 2014, who never disobeyed a prior order of removal, and were never convicted of a serious offense, will not be priorities for removal. This policy also provides clear guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

End Secure Communities and Replace it with New Priority Enforcement Program

DHS will end the Secure Communities program, replace it with the Priority Enforcement Program(PEP) that will closely and clearly reflect DHS’s new top enforcement priorities. The program will continue to rely on fingerprint-based biometric data submitted during bookings by state and local law enforcement agencies and will identify to law enforcement agencies the specific criteria for which we will seek an individual in their custody. The list of largely criminal offenses is taken from Priorities 1 and 2 of our new enforcement priorities. In addition, we will formulate plans to engage state and local governments on enforcement priorities and will enhance Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) ability to arrest, detain, and remove individuals deemed threats to national security, border security, or public safety.

Personnel Reform for ICE Officers

Related to these enforcement and removal reforms, we will support job series realignment and premium ability pay coverage for ICE EROofficers engaged in removal operations. These measures are essential to bringing ICE agents and officers pay in line with other law enforcement personnel.

Expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

We willexpand eligibility for DACA to encompass a broader class of children.  DACA eligibility was limited to those who were under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012, who entered the U.S. before June 15, 2007, and who were under 16 years old when they entered.  DACA eligibility will be expanded to cover all undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of 16, and not just those born after June 15, 1981.  We will also adjust the entry date from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010. The relief (including work authorization) will now last for three years rather than two.

Extend Deferred Action to Parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents

DHS willextend eligibility for deferred actionto individuals who (i) are not removal priorities under our new policy, (ii) have been in this country at least 5 years, (iii) have children who on the date of this announcement are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, and (iv) present no other factors that would make a grant of deferred action inappropriate.  These individuals will be assessed for eligibility for deferred action on a case-by-case basis, and then be permitted to apply for work authorization, provided they pay a fee.  Each individual will undergo a thorough background check of all relevant national security and criminal databases, including DHS and FBI databases. With work-authorization, these individuals will pay taxes and contribute to the economy.

Expand Provisional Waivers to Spouses and Children of Lawful Permanent Residents

Theprovisional waiver programDHS announced in January 2013 for undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens will be expanded to include the spouses and children of lawful permanent residents, as well as the adult children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.  At the same time, we will further clarify the “extreme hardship” standard that must be met to obtain the waiver.

Revise Parole Rules

DHS will begin rulemaking to identify the conditions under which talented entrepreneurs should be paroled into the United States, on the ground that their entry would yield a significant public economic benefit.  DHS will also support the military and its recruitment efforts by working with the Department of Defense to address the availability ofparole-in-place and deferred action to spouses, parents, and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who seek to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. DHS will also issue guidance to clarify that when anyone is givenadvance parole to leave the country – including those who obtain deferred action - they will not be considered to have departed.  Undocumented aliens generally trigger a 3- or 10-year bar to returning to the United States when they depart.

Promote the Naturalization Process

promote access to U.S. citizenship, we will permit the use of credit cards as a payment option for the naturalization fee, and expand citizenship public awareness. It is important to note that the naturalization fee is $680, currently payable only by cash, check or money order. DHS will also explore the feasibility of expanding fee waiver options.

Support High-skilled Business and Workers

DHS will take a number of administrative actions to betterenable U.S. businesses to hire and retain highly skilled foreign-born workers and strengthen and expand opportunities for students to gain on-the-job training.  For example, because our immigration system suffers from extremely long waits for green cards, we will amend current regulations and make other administrative changes to provide needed flexibility to workers with approved employment-based green card petitions.

Additional Information


Assistant Secretary Heather Fong, DHS to speak at HAPCOA

President Obama recently appointed Heather Fong to serve as Assistant Secretary, Office of State and Local Law Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security.  Assistant Secretary Fong has agreed to address the HAPCOA 41st Annual National Law Enforcement Training Symposium at the WESTIN Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, TX.

Assistant Secretary Fong will deliver opening remarks at the HAPCOA Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, December 2, 2014.

Assistant Secretary Fong previously served as the Chief of Police in San Francisco where she was the first Asian female to serve in this position and the first Asian female to serve as a major city Chief of Police.

Assistant Secretary Fong as Chief of Police, San Francisco



On Saturday, November 15, 2014, members of the HAPCOA National Executive Board (President Xavier Morales, VP Richard Rosa, Director at Large Manny Ovalle and Executive Director Tony Chapa) attended the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association (HLEA) and United Black Officers Association Strength in Unity Gala held at the Clarion Hotel in Prince Georges County (PGC), Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Also attending the event were PGCPD Chief of Police Mark McGaw and PGSO Sheriff Melvin High.  Anthony Chapa, Executive Director of HAPCOA served as the Gala opening keynote speaker.  Chapa introduced Gala attendees to the newly formed HAPCOA National Capitol Region Chapter.  All HAPCOA Chapter board members attended and were also introduced (Chapter Board members: President Joe Perez, Major Pacheco, Capt Rodriguez, Lt Maldonado, & Mike Rodriguez)

The event was attended by 350 members of the Prince Georges County Police Department, the Prince Georges County Sheriff’s Office, members of the Washington DC Association of Police Attaches from Latin America, visiting Law Enforcement Officials, elected members of local government and supporting business owners.

The Strength in Unity Gala provided numerous awards to officers and deputies who supported community events, law enforcement projects and who excelled as law enforcement officers all in support of the mission of HNLEA and the United Black Officers Association of PGCPD and PGSO.  Receiving the HNLEA Leadership Award for 2014 were HAPCOA’s National Board Members Richard Rosa and Anthony Chapa.

HAPCOA National Board members:  Morales, Rosa, Chapa and Ovalle.



The US Embassy Panama Chapter of HAPCOA was pleased to have Omar Pinzon, Director General of the Panamanian National Police Force join the chapter along with members of his senior staff all as supporting members.

An official posting of this historic event with photos is found on the official Panamanian Police website at:


Several members of the Panama National Police Force will be attending HAPCOA’s 41st Annual National Training Symposium, December 1-5, 2014 at the WESTIN Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, TX.

Erik Moncayo, Chapter President presents HAPCOA certificate to PNP Director Pinzon


HAPCOA encourages members to attend IACP/Major City Chief Press Event



The HAPCOA 2014 Aguila Awards Committee recently announced the selection of those individuals or organizations that will receive recognition at the 2014 Aguila Awards Luncheon.  Nominations were received from a number of agencies, departments and individuals and all nominated are applauded for their outstanding service to the community.

The Aguila Awards Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, December 2nd as part of the 41st Annual HAPCOA National Law Enforcement Training Symposium.  The Symposium will be held the week of December 2-4, 2014 at the WESTIN Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, TX.

There are three Medallion Award Categories:

  • Gold Medal of Valor Award: presented to an individual, who while on official duty, performed beyond the call, exemplifying courage and boldness
  • Silver Medal for Meritorious Conduct: presented to an individual, who has performed meritorious work in law enforcement.
  • Bronze Medal for Community Service: presented to an individual who has contributed to the civic projects or programs, which have resulted in the betterment of the community. 
These awards are presented annually to individuals, agencies, or departments nationwide in recognition for promoting a standard of excellence that exemplifies law enforcement’s contributions and dedication to the quality of life in local communities. This Awards Program helps law enforcement agencies nationwide and the communities they serve by redefining the concept of law enforcement and how it is routinely performed.

The 2014 Medallion winners are as follows: 


Ann Marie Carrizales, Police Officer
Stafford Police Department, Fort Bend County, TX 


Special Agent Carlos Castro
Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Camp Lejeune, NC 

Inspector Derek Martinez
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
New York City, NY


Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association
Prince Georges County Police Department, Maryland

Photo of the 2012 HAPCOA 39th Annual National Law Enforcement Training Symposium, Opening Ceremony, Long Beach, CA



The HAPCOA Board of Directors and its Aguila Awards Committee is proud to announce the selection of Art Acevedo, Chief of Police, Austin, TX as its 2014 Aguila Award winner. 

The Aguila Award is the highest form of recognition given by HAPCOA for exceptional contributions by an individual or an organization in support of HAPCOA’s mission and goals. Nominees exemplify the highest levels of concern for Public Safety and embody the principals of HAPCOA was founded to promote.

This year’s award will be presented at the HAPCOA 41st Annual National Training Symposium, Aguila Awards Luncheon to be held in San Antonio, TX on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014.  The keynote speaker at this year’s Aguila Awards Luncheon will be Alejandro Mayorkas, Deputy Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC.

Chief Art Acevedo is recognized as a national leader in community policing and serves as a command level role model for all in law enforcement to follow.  Chief Acevedo immigrated to the United States from Cuba when he was a child.  Following his dream to serve the public as a police officer Acevedo joined the California Highway Patrol (CHP).  At the CHP Acevedo rose to the rank of Chief  where he served the Greater Los Angeles Community.  Chief Acevedo was selected to the position of Chief of Police in 2007 and became the first Latino Chief of Police of Austin, TX.

Chief Acevedo is a past President of the National Latino Peace Officers Association (NLPOA) and is active within HAPCOA, the International Association of Chief’s of Police (IACP) and with Major City Chiefs. 

The HAPCOA Awards Committee will soon release the names of its 2014 Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal winners.  Medal winners will also be recognized and presented at the 2014 Aguila Awards Luncheon.

Chief Paul Chapa, Trinity University Police Department & immediate past President of HAPCOA, delivers the news to Chief Art “Ace” Acevedo of his selection as HAPCOA’s 2014 Aguila Award Winner.


HAPCOA National Board Elections

National Board positions up for election (re-election) include the following:

Sergeant at Arms
4th Vice President (State/County/Non-Federal Rep)

HAPCOA members, who hold regular membership and who are in good standing, may nominate a candidate (or themselves) for any of the open positions. To be qualified for election, candidates must be HAPCOA members in good standing (dues paid).  The 2014 Executive Board, per the HAPCOA bylaws (Section 4.A.) has named Don Tijerina, HAPCOA 1st VP, as the Election Chairman.   

To be considered for office, candidates should be available to attend quarterly executive board meetings or tele-conferences and be available to attend occasional special functions or meetings. Interested HAPCOA members who would like to serve on the Board of Directors should attend the HAPCOA General Meeting to be held on Tuesday (4pm), December 2nd, 2014 and be placed in nomination before the membership.  An election will follow.  Only regular members in good standing will be eligible to vote during this election.  The candidate with a majority of votes will be named to the open position.

Position requirements are as follows: 

4th Vice President.

This officer will be elected to office yearly by voting members of the Association and will then ascend yearly to the next Vice President positions until the officer reaches the office of President. Upon completion of the Presidential term, the officer will assume the position of Immediate Past President. So that all levels of government are represented in the Association and all membership are given an equal opportunity to seek a Board officer position, the 4th Vice President Officer will be nominated and elected, in alternate years, from Association members who are employed by:

  • a federal agency, grade GS-14 or above,
  • a state, county, municipal, university law enforcement agency, a private police organization or a law enforcement agency of a political sub-division of a state, as a rank of Lieutenant or above.

Secretary, Treasurer and Sergeant-at-Arms.

These Officers will be elected by the voting members of the Association for a two (2) year term. Nominations for these officers shall be made at the annual Association meeting held during even numbered calendar years.  These officers are from the ranks for our Regular Membership.

Regular members are as follow:  Full-time certified peace officers of a municipal, county, state or federal agency, certified peace officer of a university or other private police organization or peace officer of a political sub-division of a state who hold the rank of command supervisor, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Federal Criminal Investigator’s GS-13 or above, Inspector or its equivalent whose Association membership has been approved who remain in good standing having paid the necessary Association dues and fees, are deemed regular members of the Association and are thereby entitled to all rights and privileges of a regular member, specifically the right to vote. The National Board has recognized retired law enforcement officers, in good standing, for regular membership.

Swearing in of 2015 HAPCOA National Board will take place on Thursday, December 4th from 4pm to 6pm. 

The first meeting of the 2015 HAPCOA National Board will occur on Friday morning, December 5th in San Antonio, TX.

Past HAPCOA National Presidents.


HAPCOA & HNLEA invited to Colombian Embassy, Washington, DC

HAPCOA Executive Director Tony Chapa and Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association (HNLEA) President Joe Perez, among other law enforcement executives were invited to the Colombian Embassy in Washington, DC to meet with Colombian National Police Director General Rodolfo Palomino. 

Several members of the renewed HAPCOA National Capitol Area Chapter were also in attendance and all had an opportunity to meet General Palomino and to discuss HAPCOA.  During the evening, Colombian Ambassador Luis Carlos Villegas, proudly advised that Colombia’s newest export (other than coffee and flowers) was the skill of its Police Officers who were now supporting law enforcement efforts in Latin America.

We were also briefed on the special efforts of the Social Work Association, headed by the General’s wife, which benefits family members of the Colombian National Police.

Lt Joe Perez (HNLEA), “Juan Valdez”, Tony Chapa & General Palomino

Tony Chapa & Joe Perez pose before the Colombian National Police flag.


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HAPCOA & NLPOA Invited to White House Meeting

(Washington)  HAPCOA and the National Latino Peace Officers Association (NLPOA) were invited to join other national leaders in Law Enforcement at the White House on Thursday, September 18, 2014 to participate in a Law Enforcement Stakeholders Meeting.

This meeting was called by members of the President’s staff who were looking for conversation and opinions in respect to important questions raised about State and local law enforcement’s use of military-type equipment and tactics.  The discussion centered on the acquisition process and its approved use by acquiring police departments.

Immediately following this meeting a second meeting was held by the White House Domestic Policy Counsel, Roy Austin, Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity.  Both HAPCOA and NLPOA voiced views and lead discussion regarding law enforcement & public safety diversity, recruitment and inclusion.  Representing HAPCOA at this event was Anthony Chapa, Executive Director and representing NLPOA was Andrew Peralta, National President and Felipe Ortiz, National Board Advisor.  Also attending these meeting were representatives from various police associations to include: IACP, NOBLE and WIFLE.


HAPCOA presents at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

HAPCOA and the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association (HNLEA) were invited to speak at the National Gallery of Art on September 15, 2014 in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Speaking on behalf of HNLEA was Lt Joe Perez of the Prince Georges County Police Department and representing HAPCOA was Tony Chapa, Executive Director of HAPCOA.  Both Joe and Tony spoke before the “Gallery” security force of 90+ members.

The presentation covered the relationship that HNLEA has with the growing Hispanic community in Prince Georges County and also the special Holiday Food Basket drive they hold each year that provides needed food items to over 1000 families.  In addition the relationship with HAPCOA was discussed and the mission and focus of the two organizations as they work together in support of Hispanic Law Enforcement in the National Capitol Region of Washington, DC.


2014 HAPCOA AGUILA AWARDS PROGRAM - Award Nominations Now Accepted - Deadline October 1, 2014

The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) sponsors the coveted “AGUILA” Awards Program (Aguila is the Spanish work for Eagle). The eagle is a universal symbol of vigilance, strength and courage. There are two types of Aguila Awards: The Aguila Statue Award and the Aguila Medallion Awards.

Those selected to receive the 2014 Awards will be recognized and presented their awards on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at the HAPCOA 41st Annual National Training Symposium – Aguila Awards Luncheon to be held at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, TX.


It is the highest form of recognition given by HAPCOA for exceptional contributions by an individual or an organization in support of HAPCOA’s mission and goals. Nominees exemplify the highest levels of concern for Public Safety and embody the principals of HAPCOA was founded to promote. This award can be awarded to a private individual, community organization, or a law enforcement/criminal justice agency.


There are three Medallion Award Categories:

  • Gold Medal of Valor Award: presented to an individual, who while on official duty, performed beyond the call, exemplifying courage and boldness.
  • Silver Medal for Meritorious Conduct: presented to an individual, who has performed meritorious work in law enforcement.
  • Bronze Medal for Community Service: presented to an individual who has contributed to the civic projects or programs that have resulted in the betterment of the community. These awards are presented annually to individuals, agencies, or departments nationwide in recognition for promoting a standard of excellence that exemplifies law enforcement’s contributions and dedication to the quality of life in local communities. This Awards Program helps law enforcement agencies nationwide and the communities they serve by redefining the concept of law enforcement and how it is routinely performed. 

The program annually honors achievements in one or more of the following goals:

  • Continually improving services to the community;
  • Strengthening police relations and promoting community participations;
  • Effectively using resources;
  • Enhancing communications within and cooperation among agencies;
  • Developing creative and innovative approaches that promote excellence in law enforcement.


Nominee(s) must be sworn law enforcement officer from any federal, state, county, or local law enforcement agency within the United States. Nomination must be submitted by an active member of HAPCOA, who must provide all pertinent information on the nominee. Nomination must involve an incident occurring within the last year. Nomination submissions are currently being accepted through 01 October 2014, and should be submitted via the form below.

Lastly, a Nomination Letter of not more than 750 words should cover the rational/justification for the award(s) referenced above, and can be uploaded via the form found on the HAPCOA web site: http://hapcoa.org/aguila-awards.  The deadline for submission of nominations is 01 October 2014.

Victor Erevia, Assistant Director, US Secret Service received the Aguila Statue award at the HAPCOA Symposium in Long Beach, CA in 2012.


HAPCOA Invites IACP to present at 41st Annual Training Symposium

As HAPCOA prepares for its 41st Annual National Law Enforcement Training Symposium, two meetings were held with Vincent Talucci, Executive Director and John Firman, Director Office of Research, Programs, and Professional Services of the International Association Chiefs of Police (IACP), located in Alexandria, VA.  Attending these meetings representing HAPCOA included Xavier Morales (US Secret Service), 2014 National President, Tony Chapa, Executive Director, and Andria Fata (US Secret Service/Employee Assistance Programs and HAPCOA subject matter expert).

IACP and HAPCOA have both accepted the issue of Officer Suicide as a major issue to discuss during their upcoming membership conventions.  IACP will present its course “On Officer Suicide” at its 121st International Conference and Exposition in Orlando, FL, October 25 –28, 2014.  The IACP course description reads: “It is estimated that officer suicides are two-three times greater than the number of line-of-duty deaths annually. IACP, in partnership with the COPS Office, is taking proactive measures to ensure officer suicide is a central concern to law enforcement.”

This IACP course, with its release of the film BLUE, will be presented at the HAPCOA 41st National Training Symposium, December 2nd, as its featured course.

Also highlighting the training course offerings will be a presentation by well-known speaker and documentary filmmaker, Sgt Clarke Paris, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (retired after 26 years of service).  His course The Pain Behind the Badge, and will be offered on Wednesday, December 3rd.

American Military University, the Austin Police Department and others will present additional outstanding training courses during the symposium.  A fully revised training schedule will be published on our website soon.



WASHINGTON—Two weeks ago the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the numbers of unaccompanied children and adults with children apprehended at the Southwest border had declined significantly in the month of July. At the current rate, the numbers in the month of August will be even lower. However, Secretary Johnson stated then that we must guard against a reversal of this trend, and DHS’s efforts to prevent and deter illegal migration across the Southwest Border continue. As part of this overall campaign, in July Secretary Johnson and the Department of Justice announced Operation Coyote, a surge in personnel to the Rio Grande Valley to target and dismantle human smuggling operations, and to interdict the flow of money to these organizations. 

Secretary Johnson today announced that, as part of Operation Coyote so far, 363 smugglers and their associates have been arrested, and more than $800,000 in illicit payments to smuggling organizations have been seized from 438 bank accounts.

Secretary Johnson stated:

“Though we are pleased that the number of migrants crossing our border illegally into the Rio Grande Valley has decreased significantly, we remain determined to go after the Coyotes who, by misinformation and exploitation, encourage this dangerous illegal migration. We must also continue to interdict the payments to Coyotes to discourage migrants and their families from making these payments. Migrants and their families need to know that, in light of our intensified efforts, they risk losing large sums of money intended to pay for illegal activity. I also appreciate the cooperation and partnership we have received from state and local law enforcement authorities, as well as from the Government of Mexico.”



(Panama City, Panama)  With the approval of the HAPCOA National Board, HAPCOA members assigned to the US Embassy Panama form the US Embassy Panama Chapter.  This is the first HAPCOA Chapter established in support of its growing membership who are assigned to diplomatic posts overseas.  HAPCOA is to open to forming additional chapters in US Embassy’s throughout Latin America.

The US Embassy Panama Chapter leadership was sworn-in on Friday, August 8, 2014 by long time HAPCOA member Roberto L. Hylton, former Chief of Police, Prince Georges County, MD where he served for nearly 30 years.  Chief Hylton, a Panama native, is the first Panamanian-American to hold a Chief of Police post in the United States.  Also attending the event and representing the HAPCOA National Board was Anthony Chapa, Executive Director.

Pictured are Eric Moncayo, Panama Chapter President and Chief Hylton.

The newly named leadership of the Panama Chapter includes:  Eric Moncayo, Chapter President & CBP Attache; Christian Rivera, Vice President & OSI Special Agent/Force Protection Detail; David Wattley, Secretary & Retired FBI Senior Special Agent; Roberto Samuels, Treasurer & Force Protection Detail (retired SFC US Army); and Esteban Blis, Sergant at Arms & Retired SSG US Army.  Additional HAPCOA members and supporting members will be recruited from the Embassy Law Enforcement community and will also include command level members of the Panamanian National Police Force.


HAPCOA Member Police Chief receives International Recognition from IACLEA

Police Chief Paul Chapa and Corporal Paul Morales accepted the award on behalf of Trinity from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) at its annual conference in June in Montréal.

Read the full article here: http://new.trinity.edu/news/trinity-university-police-win-international-award



(San Antonio)  On Friday, July 11, 2014, HAPCOA was invited to attend an awards reception in honor of DES Business Solutions, at the Plaza Club above the Frost Bank Building.

HAPCOA awarded Earl Roberts, President, DES Business Solutions in honor of his support of our 40th Annual Training Symposium and his pledge to support or 41st Annual Training Symposium set for December 1-5, 2014 in San Antonio.

Attending the DES awards reception from HAPCOA included Xavier Morales, 2014 National President, Don Tijerina, 1st Vice President (and San Antonio Chapter President), Paul Chapa, Immediate Past President and Tony Chapa, Executive Director.

HAPCOA presents plaque of appreciation to Earl Roberts (left), Tony Chapa (HAPCOA), Mariana Lujan (Davila Construction) & Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Atkisson.



On 07/11/2014, the HAPCOA National Board voted to extend the deadline for submission of completed scholarship applications.  These scholarships are reserved for active HAPCOA members and/or their family members. HAPOCA will award two one-time awards of  $2,500.00, which will be sent directly to the student’s college or university.

Please visit the Scholarship Page for addition information and access to the on-line application: http://hapcoa.org/hapcoa-scholarship

HAPCOA remains committed to: SELECTION, RETENTION, PROMOTION & EDUCATION of highly qualified Hispanic men and women in law enforcement and within the criminal justice system.



(SAN ANTONIO)  On June 23rd-27th 2014 HAPCOA San Antonio Chapter manned a recruitment table at the 2014 TEXAS GANG INVESTIGATORS ASSOCIATION Conference at The Omni Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. The Conference was attended by almost 800 attendees. Attendees came from all levels of Law Enforcement in the State of Texas, and some attendees traveled from as far away as Wyoming.

Our goal for the week was to make people aware of HAPCOA, and its mission. Although we didn’t get any people to sign up directly. We did get many attendees take our information back to their respective agencies. We did get one attendee inquire about possibly opening a Houston chapter. While attending as both an attendee, and vendor, I was able to speak to some vendors who expressed interest in attending our 2014 Symposium. We were also invited to attend next year’s conference in Corpus Christi, and also T.G.I.A.’s local regional meeting in September. I would also like to thank HAPCOA San Antonio Chapter members: Angel Vasquez, Joe Quintero, Leo Quintero, Yvonne Vann and Mary Ruiz for helping man the HAPCOA table throughout the week.

(Caption Under the Photo)  HAPCOA recruiters Jesse Garcia, Yvonne Vann & Leo Quintero.

Article submitted by:  Jesse L. Garcia, HAPCOA San Antonio Chapter


CBP Launches the Dangers Awareness Campaign to Save and Protect the Lives of Migrant Children Attempting to Cross the Southwest Border

Outreach Campaign Focuses on the Dangers of the Journey to Cross the Southwest Border

WASHINGTON Today, U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske discussed the Dangers Awareness Campaign, an aggressive Spanish language outreach effort and an urgent call to action to community groups, the media, parents and relatives in the U.S. and Central America to save and protect the lives of migrant children attempting to cross the southwest border.

“Families need to understand that the journey north has become much more treacherous and there are no ‘permisos’ for those crossing the border illegally,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “Children, especially, are easy prey for coyotes and transnational criminal organizations and they can be subjected to robbery, violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking or forced labor.”

Commissioner Kerlikowske discussed the campaign on the banks of the Rio Grande River, at Anzalduas County Park in Mission, Texas, to underscore the dangers posed by the natural elements, including harsh terrain and unforgiving weather conditions. So far this year, the U.S. Border Patrol has identified more than 220 deaths along the southwest border, including 34 water-related deaths. The U.S. Border Patrol has recorded 14 water-related rescues this year in RGV.

The objective of the campaign is to warn families about the dangers encountered by unaccompanied minors who attempt to travel from Central America to the U.S., and to counter misperceptions that smugglers may be disseminating about immigration benefits in the United States. The Dangers Awareness Campaign will feature public service announcement placements in Central America.

The campaign includes Spanish language media outreach accompanied by local media events in metropolitan areas with high concentrations of Central Americans, such as Houston, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York and Miami. In addition to the earned media campaign, public service announcements will run through September 7th in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. About 6,500 public service announcements will run on the radio

and television during the course of the campaign. Billboards will also prominently display similar messages in those countries.

To view and download the campaign materials and for additional information, visit


The media contact for this campaign is Jaime Ruiz. For questions about the campaign, contact him via email at Jaime.i.ruiz@dhs.gov or via cellphone (202) 534-8622.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws. 



(Panama City, Panama)  On Wednesday, July 2, 2014, HAPCOA members attended the change of command ceremony honoring the Presidential appointment of Omar Pinzon as Director General of the Panamanian National Police Force.  This event was officiated by Panama President Juan Carlos Varela at National Police Headquarters.

President Varela presents Director Pinzon with the Panamanian National Police Command Flag.

HAPCOA members attending the event, as special guest of the Director, included Anthony Chapa, HAPCOA Executive Director, and from the US Embassy Panama: Eric Moncayo, CBP Attaché and Christian Rivera, AFOSI, Force Protection Attaché. Also attending the event was HAPCOA supporting member SSGT (retired) Esteban Blis, US Army, who lives in Panama City, Panama.

Blis and Chapa pose with Director Pinzon at a reception in his honor.

Chapa presents Director Pinzon with the HAPCOA Seal and a letter of Congratulations.

The HAPCOA members assigned to the US Embassy Panama have agreed to form the first overseas chapter of HAPCOA which will help provide outreach and liaison opportunities with the new Panamanian Police Command Staff.  Retired US Law Enforcement Officials living in Panama will be encouraged to join HAPCOA.

Chapa walks and chats with Panama President Varela.



Thanks to the untrying efforts of long time HAPCOA member Maria Rodriguez, Special Agent (retired), NCIS, with her team, they worked obtain the Congressional Gold Medal for the 65th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army.  HAPCOA supported this effort with letters to Congress and we salute the brave members of the 65th Infantry of Puerto Rico.

On June 10, 2014, at the White House bill signing ceremony, President Barak Obama stated, the bill presented today is the “Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army — also known as the "Borinqueneers."

President Barack Obama leads an ovation for the Borinqueneers after he signed H.R. 1726 to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, June 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon) 

“The unit, comprised mostly of soldiers from Puerto Rico, distinguished itself in service during World War I, World War II, and in Korea. As President Obama noted, segregation "set them apart from their fellow soldiers — but their courage made them legendary."

“Only a handful of military units have ever received this award, and only one other Hispanic American has received this award, Roberto Clemente.  That’s pretty good company.  So this is a proud day for the Borinqueneers and their families.  It’s a proud day for all of those whose lives they saved and whose freedom they defended.  It’s a proud day for all Americans, especially Hispanic Americans, who have made extraordinary contributions to our country, many through their military service. 

So on behalf of the American people, we want to thank all the Borinqueneers for their extraordinary service.  You’ve earned a hallowed place in our history.”



(San Antonio) Trinity University announce the selection of Assistant Chief Pete Perez as the recipient of the Helen McKinley Employee Excellence Award for June 2014.  Assistant Chief Perez was selected out of a number of nominations submitted campus wide.  

Pete Perez has been at Trinity since 2003 and has become a respected leader and a driving force within the Trinity University Police Department. 

It stated in one of the nominations for Pete, “Assistant Chief of Police, Pete Perez, always comes to work with a positive attitude and no matter what he is working on, he is always willing to lend a helping hand or answer a question.  It is a privilege to work with or alongside the Assistant Chief.”

Another nominator wrote, “Assistant Chief Pete Perez led the University Police Department to State Accreditation through the Texas Police Chief Association.  This accreditation makes the TUPD the first private university in Texas to achieve this status.  The accreditation process, which was managed by Pete, reviewed and created policies and procedures to ensure the department’s compliance with over 165 standards.” 

“Also through the leadership of Assistant Chief Perez, TUPD received a national award for Innovations in Community Oriented Policing.  This award was in recognition of the many programs and initiatives the Crime Prevention Team implemented this year under the direction of Perez.”

President Ahlburg with June’s recipient for the McKinley Employee Excellence Award, Pete Perez, Assistant Chief of Trinity University Police Department.

Please join the San Antonio Chapter of HAPCOA in congratulating Pete Perez on receiving the June 2014 Helen McKinley Award.


National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence



The 100 Club of San Antonio, a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of families of Law Enforcement and Firefighters in Bexar County who have fallen in the line of duty, held its annual fund raising luncheon, May 27, 2014.

This years 100 Club keynote speaker was US Marshal Robert Almonte, an active HAPCOA member.  Also speaking, and thanking the 100 Club for its support on behalf of the Kelly family (a fallen officer from his department) was Police Chief Paul Chapa, Trinity University and HAPCOA’s Immediate Past President.

Members of HAPCOA’s San Antonio Chapter, lead by Captain Don Tijerina, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, supported this year’s event with the purchase of a table and invited local HAPCOA supporters to attend the event.  Seated at the HAPCOA table was Texas State Senator Leticia San Miguel Van De Putte whose father, Daniel San Miguel was a fallen San Antonio Police Officer, and Tony Davila, President of Davila Construction.

The 100 Club of San Antonio immediately delivers a check to the family of a fallen officer to help meet the immediate financial needs including funeral expenses.  The 100 Club also supports each dependent child with an account that is present to them when they reach 18 years of age and made available over a five-year period (the course of a college education).

Captain Don Tijerina, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, TX State Senator Leticia Van De Putte and Chief Paul Chapa, Trinity University.

HAPCOA table:  Captain Don Tijerina (HAPCOA 1st VP and President of the San Antonio Chapter), Tony Davila, President of Davila Construction, TX State Senator Leticia Van De Putte, Sgt Yvonne Vann (HAPCOA Board Member), and Chief Paul Chapa, Trinity University (HAPCOA Immediate Past President). 

Texas State Senator Leticia Van De Putte and Sgt Yvonne Vann, Bexar County Sheriff’s Department.  


HAPCOA Annual Symposium Registration is now open

Register online here.



The Hispanic American Police Command Offices Association (HAPCOA) was invited to attend the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Board of Directors Reception and the 26th Annual Candlelight Vigil.  The reception was held at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.  Following the reception all VIP guests were invited to attend the Candlelight Vigil where the names of fallen officers were read out load.

Officially representing the HAPCOA National Board at this years event were Xavier Morales, 2014 National President (Deputy Special Agent in Charge, US Secret Service) and Yvonne Vann (Sgt, Bexar County Sheriffs Office).

Xavier Morales, HAPCOA National President, Yvonne Vann, HAPCOA Board Member, and George Aranda, NLPOA National President.

Sgt Yvonne Vann and the Bexar County Sheriffs Office Honor Guard.


Registration is open for this year's Ride & Run to Remember!

This week, thousands of people from across the country joined together for the 26th annual Candlelight Vigil, honoring all our fallen law enforcement officers. And last year, more people than ever rode, ran, and raised funds at our annual Law Enforcement Ride & Run to Remember to ensure that we can continue to honor all law enforcement officers and appropriately thank them for what they do.

Registration is open for this year's Ride & Run to Remember! Great strides have been made in telling the story behind the badge, but we need your support to continue our work. Watch our new video to learn more about our mission and share it today!

Register today and ride, run or walk with us to honor the contribution and sacrifice law enforcement officers make every day.Join us on October 11 and 12 for Ride & Run to Remember. This year we have added a Walk option so that everyone can take part in this fun and exciting event!


Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Nominations are open

Click image to download as a PDF:


Promotion of Don Tijerina to Captain, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office

Bexar County Sheriff Susan L. Pamerleau (San Antonio, TX) promoted Lt. Don Tijerina to the rank of Captain.  Captain Tijerina’s new assignment is to the Patrol Division, overseeing all of the West Patrol Operations with the Sheriff’s Office.  This promotion for Captain Tijerina marks a successful 21-year career in Law Enforcement with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office in which he has served in almost every division in the Sheriff's Office including the distinction of being the only Lieutenant to serve as Commander of the Internal Affairs Division. Captain Tijerina is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and retired from the United States Air Force and Reserves with more that 20 year's of service. Captain Tijerina is slso very active in the local Deputy Sheriff's Association having served on the Board of Directors and assisted in negotiating the agencies Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Sheriff Susan Pamerleau honored Captain Tijerina during the ceremonial presentation by recognizing his accomplishments to include being a member of HAPCOA, with special mention that he will become the National President of HAPCOA for the year 2015.

Pictured are Bexar County Sheriff Pamerleau, newly promoted Captain Tijerina and Chief Deputy Sheriff Manuel Longoria.

Captain Tijerina currently serves on the HAPCOA National Board of Directors as its 1st Vice President.  Long time HAPCOA member and Bexar County Sheriff Chief Deputy Manuel Longoria pinned on Don’s Captain bars.  Chief Deputy Longoria is a senior member of HAPCOA with over 45 years of Law Enforcement experience.


HAPCOA Presents NLEOMF Memorial Tribute to Sgt VANN

(San Antonio)  Members of the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA), National Board of Directors and members of the San Antonio Chapter, presented Sgt Yvonne Vann, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, with copies of a National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) video tribute created in memory of her late husband Sgt Kenneth Vann, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office who was killed in the line of duty in 2011.  This is the first video tribute project that HAPCOA has participated in with more to follow.  Sgt Kenneth Vann was awarded the 2011 HAPCOA Medal of Valor – posthumously.

Presenting the NLEOMF Video Tribute to Sgt Yvonne Vann, HAPCOA members:  Javier Pena, Pete Perez, Xavier Morales, Paul Chapa, Yvonne Vann, Angel Vasquez, Jr., Amadeo Ortiz, Tony Chapa and Albert Mireles.

Presenting the NLEOMF video tribute included HAPCOA Board Members:  Xavier Morales, National President; Anthony Chapa, Executive Director; Paul Chapa, Immediate Past President; and Javier Pena, Director Emeritus. Also present were San Antonio Chapter members: Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz (retired), Assistant Chief Pete Perez (Trinity University), Angel Vasquez, Jr (TDCJ Parole Division-retired), and Albert Mireles (VFW, Post 76 Commander). The presentation was made at the VFW Post 76, San Antonio, TX.

This video tribute is part of the NLEOMF Recorded Memorial Tribute Program (http://www.recordedmemorialtribute.com/).  A team of professional researchers, scriptwriters, voice actors and recording engineers developed these tributes.  Each tribute is professionally produced to honor and celebrate the lives of fallen heroes whose service and sacrifice is honored at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC.

Soon the Video Tribute created in the memory of Sgt Kenneth VANN will appear on the NLEMOF web page: http://www.nleomf.org/officers/recorded-memorial-tribute/

HAPCOA wishes to support additional video tribute projects with the support of the communities it serves nationwide. HAPCOA is a proud sponsor of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund video tribute program

For additional information contact:  Tony Chapa, Executive Director, HAPCOA, 202 664-4461.


Letter from the Secretary of Homeland Security


Advisory: Death of LAPD's First Latina Policewoman

From LAPD Headquarters

Death of First LAPD Latina Policewoman

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department extends its condolences for the passing of Josephine Serrano Collier, the first Latina policewoman.

Prior to joining LAPD, like many World War II era women, Josephine Serrano, as she was known at the time, was part of the country’s war efforts and worked for the Lockheed Corporation to help produce the P-38 Ventura fighter plane. After the war, she was forced to relinquish her job to returning servicemen.

On the advice of a friend, against her cultural traditions and family wishes, Josephine applied for one of the Department’s early groups of policewomen recruits. Out of 200 applicants, she was one of only nine to be hired and became a full-fledged LAPD officer on Oct. 1, 1946, at the age of 24. Though she faced many challenges because of her gender, ethnicity and prevailing cultural issues within the Department, Josephine worked many assignments, including foot beats, vice, bunco, juvenile and the Lincoln Heights Jail. Her divisions included Hollenbeck and Central.

While serving in the Department, Josephine became Josephine Serrano Collier when she married fellow Officer Darwin “Jack” Collier. She raised three children: Suzanne, John Lee and David Scott and retired on Oct. 24, 1960 due to a back injury. After retirement, she worked briefly as a counselor for the L.A. Job Corp. When her husband retired, the couple moved to Idaho and took up cattle raising along the Snake River. Later, Josephine settled in Tucson, Ariz., where she passed away Feb. 25, 2014.

Chief Charlie Beck extends a heartfelt “thank you” to the Serrano Collier families for allowing Josephine to be part of the LAPD. “In great sadness but with the utmost gratitude, our Department thanks Josephine for her sacrifices and for breaking the lines that divided women from many assignments in the early history of LAPD,” said Chief Beck. “Those sacrifices and her commitment opened the door for many women and Latinas in the Department, setting the stage for future generations.”

“The path for my success and other women of the LAPD is paved with the courage of Josephine Serrano and others like her,” said Assistant Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur, Office of Administrative Services. “This Department will be forever grateful.”

The Los Angeles Police Department extends our deepest sympathy to the friends and family of Josephine Serrano Collier and thanks her for dedication, service and commitment to our great Department.
# # #


A message from 2014 National Board President – Xavier Morales

Hola Amigos,

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.

Xavier Morales
2014 National Board President


2014 FBI Honors Internship Program

Download the attached flyer here


Take the The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) Survey

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) is conducting research to determine how e-learning methodologies are currently being used to support law enforcement (LE) specific training and whether there is a need for an Online Campus for LE specific training that is accessible anywhere and at any time.

Please take a few minutes to assist us in our research efforts.  The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete and your prompt response would be greatly appreciated. 

Please provide your response by December 20, 2013.

Survey Link: FLETC Online Campus Needs Assessment

If you have any problems accessing the survey or have questions about the survey, please email sean.mccue@fletc.dhs.gov for assistance.


Connie L. Patrick




Philadelphia, PA – At a press conference today at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference, the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence (the Partnership), a coalition of nine national law enforcement leadership organizations, emphasized the need to expand background checks for firearm purchasers, warning of the dangers to public and officer safety when guns are sold without background checks. Law enforcement leaders also expressed grave concerns that ambushes of police have risen dramatically and for the last two years in a row have been the leading cause of officer firearm fatalities. 

“We in law enforcement are on the front lines, and we see the unacceptable toll gun violence takes in communities across America -- every single day,” said Baltimore, MD Police Chief Jim Johnson, who Chairs the Partnership. “That includes law enforcement officers who are increasingly the targets of gun violence. In 2012 and as of mid-year 2013 – ambushes have been the leading cause of officer firearm fatalities. This is an alarming phenomenon that we cannot allow to continue.”

In 2012, the number of officers killed by gunfire in ambushes jumped to 15, up from five in 2011, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. As of mid-year 2013, seven of the 17 officers killed by gunfire were targeted in ambushes. In 2011, for the first time in 14 years, firearms were the number one cause of death for officers killed in the line of duty, and gunfire continues to be a leading cause of officer fatalities. 

“Gun violence is killing us – citizens and law enforcement alike. There are more than 30 Americans killed by firearms everyday. This madness has to stop,” said Philadelphia, PA Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, the host Chief for IACP’s conference who opened the press conference. “We must do all we can to keep guns out of dangerous hands by ensuring that we require background checks on all gun purchasers.” Commissioner Ramsey also serves as President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), two member organizations of the Partnership. 

The 1968 Gun Control Act prohibits anyone from possessing a firearm if he or she is a convicted felon, under indictment, a fugitive from justice, an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance, an illegal alien, adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution, dishonorably discharged from the military, or has renounced U.S. citizenship. The Act was later amended to include those under a restraining order for, or convicted of a crime of domestic violence.  Currently, the Brady Law requires background checks for firearms purchased through federally licensed dealers. However, no background checks are required for firearms purchased in private sales, such as at gun shows or over the Internet. 

“Up to 40 percent of firearm purchases are private, and thus do not require a check under federal law,” said Chief Johnson. “That’s like permitting 40 percent of passengers to board an airplane without going through airport security.

Noting that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Chief Johnson said, “Those convicted of domestic violence offenses or under a domestic violence restraining order are prohibited from possessing firearms, but because we do not require background checks at all transaction points, they are still able to get guns, and the results are tragic.”

“Background checks work and have stopped more than two million prohibited purchases since 1994, when the Brady Law took effect,” said Wellesley, MA Police Chief Terry M. Cunningham, 4th Vice President of IACP. As law enforcement professionals, we know countless lives have been saved because background checks thwarted those two million purchases. It is obvious we can save so many more lives if we expand background checks to all sales.”

“Large or small, urban, suburban or rural, gun violence impacts communities all across America. Law enforcement is united in the fight to prevent gun violence,” said Pittsburgh, PA Assistant Police Chief Maurita Bryant, Immediate Past President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). “We are speaking out as public safety professionals because we know background checks save lives,” she added.

The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence (the Partnership) lepartnership.org is an alliance of the nation’s law enforcement leadership organizations concerned about the unacceptable level of gun violence in the United States. The Partnership is working to address the pervasive nature of gun violence and its horrific impact on community and officer safety. The Partnership is comprised of:

Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA)
Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA)
International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA)
International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA)
National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE)
National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)
Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
Police Foundation (PF) 




Location:  Sheraton Gunter Hotel, San Antonio, TX
Event date:  November 19, 2013

HAPCOA, the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, established in 1973, is the oldest and largest association in the U.S. of Hispanic American command officers from law enforcement and criminal justice agencies at the municipal, county, state and federal levels. With members in agencies from across the United States and Puerto Rico, many of whom are active in local chapters, HAPCOA is a national organization with a local presence.

This year HAPCOA celebrates its 40th anniversary with its Annual National Training Symposium set for November 18-21, 2013 at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. 

At this year’s symposium HAPCOA will hold its annual Aguila Awards Luncheon and will present its highest national recognition awards.  The 2013 Aguila Awards Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, November 19th at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel from 11am to 1pm. Providing the keynote address at this year’s Aguila Awards Luncheon will be Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, US Army (retired).

This year’s award categories include: 


This award is the highest form of recognition provided by HAPCOA for exceptional contributions by an individual or an organization in support of HAPCOA’s mission and goals. Nominees exemplify the highest levels of concern for Public Safety and embody the principals on which HAPCOA was founded to promote. 

The 2013 HAPCOA Aguila Statue Award winner is Jose "Joe" Bañales, Assistant Chief of Police, San Antonio Police Department, San Antonio, TX.



The Gold Medal of Valor Award: presented to an individual, who while on official duty, performed beyond the call, exemplifying courage and boldness. 

The 2013 HAPCOA Gold Medal of Valor Award winner is Lisa Castellano, Sergeant, Detention Division, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, San Antonio, TX.



The Silver Medal for Meritorious Service: presented to an individual, who has performed meritorious work in law enforcement.


The 2013 HAPCOA Silver Medal for Meritorious Service winners include:

  • Maria del Carmen Perez, Supervisory Air Marshal in Charge, Miami Field Office.
  • David Ortega, Special Agent, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Quantico, VA.
  • Juan Vargas, Otto Fernandez and Delfin Alvarez, Postal Inspectors, US Postal Inspection Service, Miami, FL.



The Bronze Medal for Community Service: presented to an individual who has contributed to the civic projects or programs, which have resulted in the betterment of the community. 
These awards are presented annually to individuals, agencies, or departments nationwide in recognition for promoting a standard of excellence that exemplifies law enforcement’s contributions and dedication to the quality of life in local communities. This Awards Program helps law enforcement agencies nationwide and the communities they serve by redefining the concept of law enforcement and how it is routinely performed.


The 2013 HAPCOA Bronze Medal for Community Service winners include:

  • Philip “Tony” Cox, Special Agent in Charge, Naval Criminal Investigative Services, Honolulu, HI.
  • Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 6th Field Investigations Squadron, Yokota Air Force Base, Japan.
  • Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 2nd Field Investigations Region, Operating Location-Bravo, Davis-Monthan, Air Force Base, Arizona.


New this year is the awarding of the HAPCOA Presidents Award.  This recognition award is presented to an individual or organization that has provided support, direction and guidance to the HAPCOA National President.

The 2013 HAPCOA President’s Award will be presented to:

  • Major General Alfred “Freddy” Valenzuela, US Army (retired), San Antonio, TX
  • Paul Magallanes, President/CEO, MAI Associates, Thousand Oaks, CA

In addition, HAPCOA sponsors will be recognized for their support, contributions and donations.  This year’s major sponsors include:

  • Motorola
  • Verizon
  • Harris Communications
  • American Military University
  • The Armand Hammer Foundation
  • Davila Construction, San Antonio, TX 

To achieve its vision, HAPCOA follows its mission to "empower the future of law enforcement" by assisting law enforcement, criminal justice and community organizations nationwide in their efforts to recruit, train and promote qualified Hispanic American men and women.

The 2013 HAPCOA National President is Paul J. Chapa, Chief of Police, Assistant Vice President Public Safety-Enterprise Risk Management, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX

For additional information regarding HAPCOA, its National Aguila Awards Program and its 40th Annual National Training Symposium visit: www.hapcoa.org/annual-symposium

Anthony Chapa
Executive Director


Leadership Roundtable - Wednesday, November 20, 2013

HAPCOA is pleased to again present the LEADERSHIP ROUNDTABLE at this years Symposium. In the past this program was always one of our most highly rated and best attended events. This year HAPCOA will bring together several of its senior members to discuss our Symposium theme: “The Changing Face of Law Enforcement Leadership: HAPCOA at the Crossroads”.

Senior HAPCOA members comprising this year’s roundtable include:

  • Amadeo Ortiz, former Sheriff, Bexar County, TX
  • Art Acevedo, Chief of Police, Austin, TX
  • Richard Garcia, Assistant Director in Charge ®, FBI, Los Angeles, CA
  • Javier Pena, Special Agent in Charge, DEA, Houston, TX
  • Manny Ovalle, Lieutenant ®, Secret Service-UD, Washington, DC
  • Albert Ortiz, Lieutenant, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, CA

This year’s panel moderator:Dr. Dianna Carmenaty, M.P.A., PhD., San Antonio, TX

Dr. Carmenaty is the President of C3 Creating Catalyst for Change. Dianna is a retired San Antonio Police Officer with over 28 years of experience as a Patrol Officer. She also serves on several law enforcement advisory committees and Boards of Directors. In addition Dr. Carmenaty served as the President of the San Antonio Police Department Hispanic Police Officers Organization.

To register for the Symposium, visit http://hapcoa.org/symposium-registration


Independent Study Course: Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Insider Threats (IS-915)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released an online independent study course titled Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Insider Threats (IS-915).  The one-hour course was developed by the Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute (EMI), Commercial Facilities Sector-Specific Agency, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and other Federal and state agencies.

Designed for critical infrastructure employees and stakeholders, Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Insider Threats enhances awareness of the potential threats to critical infrastructure from malicious actions taken by those inside the organization.  The course also provides guidance on how to identify insider threats to critical infrastructure and an overview of common characteristics and indicators associated with malicious insiders.

This is the sixth independent study course in the Critical Infrastructure Security Awareness Series developed by the DHS/IP and offered to government and private sector stakeholders through FEMA/EMI.  The content covers a range of topics including: defining insider threat; the scope and impact of insider threats; and identifying actions that can be taken against insider threats.  The course can be found by visiting www.training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/courseOverview.aspx?code=IS-915.

EMI offers more than 150 independent study courses designed for the general public, as well as courses specifically focused on emergency management.  All courses are free to those who qualify for enrollment.  To get a complete listing of all EMI independent study offerings, visit: http://training.fema.gov/is/crslist.asp?page=all .

To access this course directly, follow this link: http://emilms.fema.gov/IS0915/index.htm.


2013 Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association Explorer Scholarship Award Winner

IRVING, Texas, July 22, 2013 - Zoe Anaya, Explorer Post 2906, sponsored by the Phoenix Police Department, Phoenix, AZ, has been selected to receive the 2013 Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association Explorer Scholarship Award.

Read the full Press Release: http://hapcoa.org/templates/files/scn-0030.pdf


Henry Cisneros will be the keynote speaker at HAPCOA’s Symposium in San Antonio, Texas

Henry Cisneros, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and current chair of National Hispanic University’s advisory board, will be the keynote speaker at HAPCOA’s 40th Anniversary Training Symposium in San Antonio, Texas on November 19th.

Mr. Cisneros began his career serving three terms as a city council member before becoming the first Hispanic-American mayor of a major U.S. city, San Antonio, Texas. In 1992, he was appointed by President Clinton to be the HUD secretary, where he was credited with initiating the revitalization of many of the nation’s public housing developments and with formulating policies that contributed to achieving the nation’s highest-ever home ownership rate. 


HAPCOA Members Promoted

HAPCOA’s 2012 Aguila Award winner, Special Agent in Charge Victor Erevia, Presidential Protection Division, was recently selected for promotion to the position of Assistant Director, Office of Protective Operations, US Secret Service.  Assistant Director Erevia will oversea all executive protection operations to include the President’s Detail, the Vice President’s Detail, the White House Complex, the Uniformed Division, former President Details and Foreign Heads of State visits to the United States.

HAPCOA member Special Agent in Charge Nelson Garabito, Protective Intelligence and Assessment Division, was recently selected for promotion to the position of Deputy Assistant Director, Office of Investigations, US Secret Service.

HAPCOA Past President and NCIS Special Agent Philip ‘Tony’ Cox was selected as the Special Agent in Charge for the Hawaii Field Office.  His area of responsibility will encompass the Hawaiian Islands and the US Territory of Guam. 


HAPCOA Leadership at the White House

Anthony Chapa, HAPCOA Exec. Director, Mayor Castro and Paul Chapa, HAPCOA President at the White House prior to the Inaugural Festivities


San Antonio Christmas Dinner and New Board Members


Congressional Badge of Bravery online application system opens Dec 14th at 8:00 am (ET).

Download the PDF for more details.


2013 HAPCOA Scholarship Application



Help to Federal employees experiencing major loss due to a declared natural disaster

Help to Federal employees experiencing major loss due to a declared natural disaster may apply for a grant from the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund. Please visit the following website for details and an application:


National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence

Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.

CALEA’s mission is to provide a credentialing service through the use of professionally recognized standards for law enforcement agencies, public safety communication centers, and public safety training academies. Agencies participate in a voluntary accreditation process demonstrating excellence in management and service delivery. Contact: Syl Daughtry (703) 352-4225

Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association

The mission of HAPCOA is to empower the future of law enforcement by assisting law enforcement, criminal justice and community organizations nationwide in their efforts to recruit, train, and promote qualified Hispanic American men and women. HAPCOA also seeks to promote and develop Hispanics in law enforcement and to serve as and advocate for Hispanic law enforcement issues. Contact: Anthony Chapa at achapa@hapcoa.org 

International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators

IACLEA’s mission is to advance public safety for educational institutions by providing educational resources, advocacy and professional development. Contact: Chief Michael Webster (410) 857-2202

International Association of Chiefs of Police

The IACP mission is to advance professional police services; promote enhanced administrative, technical, and operational police practices; foster cooperation and the exchange of information and experience among police leaders and police organizations of recognized professional and technical standing throughout the world. Contact: Nancy Turner (703) 836-6767

Major Cities Chiefs Association

The mission of the Major Cities Chiefs Association is to provide a unique forum for urban police, sheriffs and other law enforcement chief executives to discuss common problems and exchange crime-fighting strategies, as well as participate in executive training, research, and criminal justice policy development. Contact: Chief James Johnson (410) 887-4925

National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives

NOBLE’s mission is to ensure equity in the administration of justice in the provision of public service to all communities and to serve as the conscience of law enforcement by being committed to justice by action. Contact Jessie Lee (703) 658-1529

National Organization of Women Law Enforcement Executives

NAWLEE’s mission is to promote the ideals and principles of women executives in law enforcement; to conduct training seminars to train and educate women executives in enforcement including but not limited to the areas of leadership, management and administration; to provide a forum for the exchange of information concerning law enforcement and generally fostering effective law enforcement. Contact: Chief Kathy Perez (240) 216-0401.

Police Executive Research Forum

PERF, with a membership of progressive police executives from the largest city, county, and state law enforcement agencies, is dedicated to improving policing and advancing professionalism through research and involvement in public policy debate. Contact: Chris Koper (202) 466-7820

Police Foundation

The Police Foundation seeks to advance efficient, effective, and humane policing that operates within the framework of democratic principles and the highest ideals of the nation. To accomplish our mission, we work closely with law enforcement agencies and practitioners, government agencies, scholars, and policy makers to develop and evaluate innovative programs, strategies, training, and technology to address the full range of police administrative and operational concerns. Contact: Mary Malina (202) 833-1460