HAPCOA Invited by DHS to visit Southwest Boarder

San Antonio Chapter President Don Tijerina represented HAPCOA on a Southwest Border visit, June 2-6, 2019, to the Arizona Border coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of State and Local Law Enforcement (OSLLE). The objective was to bring together stakeholders from various national law enforcement associations to provide an overview of different challenges and issues faced by three Arizona border sheriffs and federal law enforcement.  This was in response to ongoing concerns impacting public safety, transnational criminal activity, and human tragedy. The goal was to educate and expose the law enforcement partners to the raw elements and complexity of borders issues and to generate ideas on how the associations could become partners and resources in the future.

Federal Agencies and National Law Enforcement Associations represented:

  • DHS-Office of Partnership and Engagement (OPE); Office for State and Local Law Enforcement (OSLLE)

The group participated in several events along the southern border of Arizona.  The meetings and/or tours were facilitated by Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, Pima County Sheriff’s Office, Yuma Sector Border Patrol, and the Tucson Sector Border Patrol. Each respective organization provided a detailed overview of their daily operation and the multifaceted challenges they face on a day to day basis. It is important to acknowledge that each organization has its own unique issues and challenges. Law enforcement stakeholders were highly engaged, as ideas were formulated and discussed, relationships were established, and inequities were recognized. 

The Sheriffs and federal partners’ challenges differ, based numerous factors: case load, geographical affect, legal boundaries, legal authority and available resources. They experienced different challenges; however, the underlying cause is linked to border security, migration issues, transnational crime, human tragedy, and public safety concerns.

The group was also able to meet with some border community representatives and hear their concerns on issues. The main negative issue expressed was that federal agencies do not seek their input or listen to them. The community representatives in attendance did not express similar opinions regarding local law enforcement. 

Overall, it was very apparent that Border Security is a complex task with no simple or quick solutions. Our law enforcement personnel, already performing an often thankless job, are now being caught in the middle of a political firestorm with seemingly no end in sight. The group recognized the importance of continuing the dialogue of all stakeholders and our hosts advised they would attempt to coordinate a meeting for future follow-up.  


HAPCOA Attends NOBLE 2019 Conference

HAPCOA was invited to attend the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) 2019 Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 9-14, 2019. HAPCOA San Antonio Chapter President Don Tijerina represented HAPCOA at the conference and was in attendance at the Awards Banquet and Installation Gala for the installation of the new NOBLE National President Cerelyn J. Davis. NOBLE Executive Director Dwayne Crawford welcomed HAPCOA’s attendance at the conference in efforts to continue the years of collaboration and partnership between organizations. Congratulations to President Davis on her new position and to NOBLE for putting on a first class, top notch conference!    


HAPCOA member named Interim Chief of Police

On August 20, 2019, Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) San Antonio Chapter President Don Tijerina began working as the Interim Chief of Police with the Southside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas. The school district selected Chief Tijerina to reorganize and rebuild their school police department. Chief Tijerina recently retired from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office as Chief Deputy, with almost 27 years of service. This is one old soldier who wasn't ready to fade away...

Chief Tijerina also served as HAPCOA National President in 2014-2015 and today serves on the National Board as its Director at Large.  Congratulations to Chief Don Tijerina.  


A Quick Look at Law Enforcement Mental Health Resources (Chaplaincy, Peer Support, Employee Assistance Programs)

Andrea Fata (USSS –EAP) has graciously put together the following Mental Health resources

IACP Psychological Services Section (IACP has ample resources in general for Command Staff issues around law enforcement mental health)

Peer Support and Training-

  • IACP “Peer Support Guidelines” Policechiefmagazine.org Aug 2011 Vol. LXXVIII no. 81 PDF Http://www.peersupport.com    (Textbook: ‘cop to cop;)
  • Peer Support Training Institute
  • International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF)
  • CopsAlive.com  (offers training on peer support and other information)
  • Law Enforcement Survival Institute
  • ‘Armor Yourself Training Program (8 hr hands-on, how-to seminar for officers and agencies)


EAP (Employee Assistance Programs)

  • Human Resources can bid and search for EAP programs
  • HR-guide.com
  • Contact other agencies to see who they use for their EAP
  • EAP’s can help train command staff about talking with and referring officers, personnel etc..for help.

Additional Information/Resources

  • Tearsofacop.com
  • Law Enforcement Survival Institute
  • ‘Armor Yourself Training Program (8 hr hands-on, how-to seminar for officers and agencies)
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

HAPCOA & GAHLEP participate in “Defile Cubano de Nueva York”

(New York City)  On Sunday, July 14, 2019, HAPCOA and the Global Alliance of Hispanic Law Enforcement Professionals (GAHLEP) participated in the annual New York City Cuba Day Parade.  This year the ‘Padrino” of the parade was Manuel Dela Rosa, Deputy Chief (retired) of the NYPD. Chief Dela Rosa, who served on the NYPD for 38 years, was born in Cuba and came to the USA at 13 years of age.  Chief Dela Rosa has 8 grown children and 7 grandchildren.

Chief Dela Rosa also served as the HAPCOA Aguila Award Luncheon Keynote Speaker at the 45th Annual National Law Enforcement Training Symposium this past May 1st in Baltimore, MD.

GAHLEP President & Founder Johnny Nunez (SGT, NYPD) served as a parade organizer and officially invited HAPCOA National Executive Director Tony Chapa to attend and to serve as an invited guest of honor (“Invitado de Honor 2019”).  

The parade included attendees, dance teams, and musical acts from several Latin American community organizations from Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and several others.

Thanks to GAHLEP the NYPD supported this event with its Honor Guard, Auxiliary Police Officers, Traffic Officers, Mounted Patrol and Police Officers who secured the parade route.

NYPD Chief Dela Rosa and Tony Chapa, HAPCOA

HAPCOA Chapa with troop representing Mexico

NYPD Honor Guard Leads the Cuba Day Parade


BJA - Medal of Valor Call for Nominees is Open

HAPCOA encourages all to consider nominating deserving members of your agencies for the DOJ/BJA Medal of Valor. The open period closes July 31st, 2019.

Please refer to BJA website for details on how to submit your ‘electronic nominations’ via the established online portal.

HAPCOA supports the BJA Medal of Valor program and has participated in the past serving as evaluators of submitted nominations.  

Find more information at their website: https://www.bja.gov/programs/medalofvalor/


Trinity University Awarded IACLEA Accreditation

(Vancouver)  The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) held’s its 61st Annual Conference & Exposition, June 25-28, 2019, in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada.

IACLEA represents campus public safety leaders at more that 1,000 institutions of higher education and offers IACLEA Accreditation to college and university law enforcement, security, and public safety departments. IACLEA Accreditation constitutes recognition that a department conforms to the highest professional standards for campus law enforcement and protective services.  Nearly 80 IACLEA member institutions have been accredited internationally.

This year, Paul Chapa, Chief of Police and Lt .John Rowse, representing Trinity University Police Department officially received the IACLEA Accreditation.

Trinity University, founded in 1869, is a private liberal arts university in San Antonio, TX.  The Trinity University Police Department is well recognized for its professionalism thanks in no small part to its Chief of Police Paul Chapa.  In 2014 the Police Department was also recognized and awarded by IACLEA for “Innovation in Community Oriented Policing” and the Department was formally recognized by the Texas Police Chiefs Association.

Chief Chapa also severed as the National President of the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA).  HAPCOA offers is congratulations to Chief Chapa and to the men and women of the Trinity University Police Department.


3rd Annual Alpha 5195 Fishing Tournament

(South Padre Island, TX)  ICE Special Agent Jaime Jorge Zapata was honored by HAPCOA with the presentation of its Gold Medal of Valor Medal (posthumously) at its 45th Annual National Law Enforcement Training Symposium, May 1st, 2019 in Baltimore, MD.  The presentation was made to his proud parents Mr. & Mrs. Zapata from Brownsville, TX.

Vice President Mike Pence attended the HAPCOA National Training Symposium Aguila Award Luncheon and visited privately with the Zapata family. 

This year on September 13 &14, 2019, in South Padre Island, TX, will be held the 3rdAnnual Fishing Tournament in honor of Special Agent Zapata.  His Homeland Security Investigations call sign was Alpha 5195.

Please visit the Fishing Tournament website for registration, information and details:  https://alpha5195.com/

The Alpha 5195 Fishing Tournament is supported by the Zapata Family Foundation which is a 501© 3 Foundation.  Your donations and support is greatly appreciated.


The HAPCOA Medal of Valor


Nominate a Public Safety Officer for the Medal of Valor

Federal, state, local, and tribal public safety officers perform courageous acts in communities across our country every day. To recognize these brave individuals, the President of the United States or his designee annually presents recipients with the nation’s highest award for public safety—the Medal of Valor.

Law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel are all eligible. Learn more about the award and past recipients on the Medal of Valor website. Use this year’s nomination guidelines to help write your nominations for this year’s award.

Thank you for taking time to honor these public safety officers and the valiant actions they perform to keep our country and citizens safe. Follow BJA on Facebook and Twitter for additional updates on the Medal of Valor and other initiatives supported by BJA.

READ MORE HERE: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOJOJP/bulletins/24c3bbc


HAPCOA Award Winner recently named Director of NCIS

(Washington, DC)  The Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer recently named Omar Lopez Director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).  This makes Director Lopez the first Hispanic to serve as Director of this Federal Investigative Agency. 

Director Lopez was the winner of the HAPCOA Silver Medal of Meritorious Service awarded by the President of HAPCOA, Rich Rosa, May 1st, 2019 in Baltimore, MD. 

HAPCOA Salutes Director Lopez and we wish clear skies and smooth sailing. 

Here is the official US Navy/NCIS posting: 


1.  The Director is pleased to announce the senior leadership appointment of Executive Assistant Director (EAD) Omar Lopez to the position of NCIS Director, effective June 4, 2019. 

2.  Special Agent Lopez was selected following a highly competitive process involving the executive resources board initiated by Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer and Undersecretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. 

3.  Special Agent Lopez served most recently as EAD for the National Security Directorate (NSD).  He exercised oversight over global counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations and operations, including espionage, terrorism, compromise, technology transfer, virtual/cyber operations, threats to research development and acquisition programs, force protection, and Insider Threat programs.  He previously served as the Assistant Director and Deputy Assistant Director for NSD, where he spearheaded a unique NCIS-led critical technology protection task force.  This task force tackled complex cyber exfiltration to mitigate adversaries' compromise of critical information belonging to the Department of the Navy (DON), affiliated companies, laboratories, and applied research centers.  The task force developed business practices and processes to enhance lethality and sharpen competitive advantage; and serves as a unique DON capability, aligning NCIS better with the National Defense Strategy and the DON Business Operations Plan.  During this period, he also served as the first DON Counterintelligence Coordinating Authority and effectively fostered consensus among Navy and Marine Corps leadership. 

4.  Special Agent Lopez has held Headquarters and Field Office leadership positions, both CONUS and OCONUS, across diverse mission areas.  Early in his NCIS career, Special Agent Lopez worked extensively on several major undercover narcotic operations.  He was later assigned as the lead investigator in a high profile FBI/NCIS espionage case, which resulted in the successful prosecution of key Chinese 
espionage operatives.  He then completed specialized advanced training and operational assignments in the field, where he developed innovative NCIS operational practices, used both domestically and overseas.  Special Agent Lopez led additional efforts to transform traditional activities to better support NCIS mission priorities and DON strategic decision makers. 

5. Prior to joining NCIS, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. with a firm that specialized in risk management, commercial litigation and energy regulation.  He served formerly on active duty after receiving his commission from the Navy as a Judge Advocate in 1995.  He served in assignments with the Military Court of Appeals, Staff Judge Advocate for senior Navy staffs, Trial Counsel, and the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in California.  While in the Navy Reserve, he served as the Deputy 
Force Judge Advocate for the Naval Special Warfare Command.  He earned a JurisDoctorate degree from Loyola Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with honors from California State University (Pomona). 

6.  Special Agent Lopez's superior leadership and years of dedicated service with NCIS will ensure continued high quality support to the Department of the Navy.