HAPCOA Panama Chapter supports DAMAS de ASUL

(Panama City, Panama)  On January 20, 2017, the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association Panama Chapter with the support of the HAPCOA National Capitol Region Chapter together raised funds to support the Damas de ASUL (Ladies of Blue – the Panamanian Fallen Officer Fund).  U.S. Ambassador John Feely hosted the presentation of HAPCOA funds at a special event held within the US Embassy in Panama City, Panama.

Attending the event and matching the HAPCOA donation was Carlos “Caliche” Ruiz, a Panamanian professional baseball catcher for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball, who in Panama is a well-known sports icon.

Ambassador Feely shared with those attending the event a story from his childhood remembering his Uncle who while working for a New Jersey Police Department was killed in the line of duty while working in an undercover capacity.

Local Panamanian news outlets covered the event and HAPCOA was recognized by Ambassador Feely for its efforts in support of fallen Police Officials.  The HAPCOA Panama Chapter includes members of US Law Enforcement (active and retired) and senior members of Panamanian Law Enforcement.

At the US Embassy in Panama City, Panama, HAPCOA & “Caliche” Ruiz present a check to the Damas de ASUL in support of the Panamanian National Police.

Carlos “Caliche” Ruiz and HAPCOA Panama Chapter President Julio Burgos.


HAPCOA attends Attorney General Meeting with Law Enforcement Stakeholders

Attorney General Loretta Lynch held her final meeting with Law Enforcement Stakeholders on Thursday, January 5, 2017 to thank the partnership for its successful collaboration and the progress achieved for the work performed on the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.  AG Lynch stated, “this has been a wonderful and challenging year…the work performed goes on.”  It has been a privilege to welcome Federal, State, and Local partners.  The best part of the engagement with all the partners was the candor in which everyone conveyed their position on policing and the community.  She went on to say how the partnership served her as, “Mentors, Teachers and Leaders” and how she has grown from working with the partnership.  AG Lynch touched on major progress and the stark losses throughout the year:

  • 21st Century Policing – challenging and tremendous progress.
  • She remembers speaking with the Baltimore City Police Officers in the aftermath of the riots and their candor and thoughts about the incident.
  • Officer Safety and Wellness – Recognizing the impact on Community Policing and the trauma to the Law Enforcement Community which elevated the importance of Mental Health & Wellness not only for Law Enforcement but for the Communities as well.

Ron Davis - Director of COPs commented on how it has been a privilege to working with the partnership and collaborating on so many issues.

Several of the stakeholders such as Donald DeLucca (IACP), Chuck Canterbury (FOP), J. Thomas Manger (MCCA) and Perry Tarrant (NOBLE) expressed their gratitude to AG Lynch and her staff for remaining accessible at all times, and the relationships and friendships formed while collaborating and addressing difficult issues throughout the year. 

HAPCOA 1st VP Richard Rosa and IACP President Donald DeLucca.



As leading law enforcement leadership and labor organizations, we have long been dedicated to advancing the profession of law enforcement and the practice of policing.

As part of our shared commitment to advancing the law enforcement profession, while upholding our commitment and duty to serve the public and preserve all human life, we convened as a group to examine the issue of use of force by law enforcement officers.  We discussed current trends on the topic, and worked to develop areas of consensus to provide a sample policy to law enforcement agencies as they seek to enhance existing guidelines for the use of de-escalation techniques, less-lethal force, and deadly force.

The extensive work of the participating organizations began in April 2016, and resulted in a National Consensus Policy on Use of Force. The National Consensus Policy on Use of Force is a collaborative effort among 11 leading law enforcement leadership and labor organizations in the United States. The organizations include:

  • Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies
  • Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association
  • International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training
  • National Association of Police Organizations
  • National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives
  • National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
  • National Tactical Officers Association

This consensus policy takes into account and reflects the broad views and experience of the field - ranging from a line officer to an executive.  The policy adopted by these organizations reflects the best thinking of all consensus organizations and is solely intended to serve as a template for law enforcement agencies to compare and enhance their existing policies. 

While the work of the consensus organizations continues, the participating groups felt the urgency to release this policy as soon as possible, as many law enforcement agencies are currently reviewing or developing their own use-of-force policies. The 11 groups will continue to provide further guidance to the field by releasing a consensus policy discussion paper in the near future. The consensus policy discussion paper will provide additional information regarding the elements found in the consensus policy, as well as the rationale for the policy directives related to de-escalation and the use of less-lethal and deadly force.

Our organizations look forward to continuing to work together, so we can further support the profession and its mission to protect all lives.

Click here to view the HAPCOA 2017 Consensus Policy on Use of Force


Don Tijerina has been Promoted to Chief Deputy of Bexar County Sheriff’s Department

(San Antonio)  Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, on Friday, January 6, 2017, appointed Don Tijerina to the position of Chief Deputy, second in command, of the Bexar County Sheriffs Office. 

Chief Deputy Tijerina is currently serving on the HAPCOA National Board of Directors as its Director Emeritus and in 2015 served as its National President.

Chief Deputy Tijerina joined the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office in 1992 and was previously serving as a Patrol Captain. He began his career with the Sheriff’s Office in the Detention Division, with his last assignment in that division working as a Classification Officer. Chief Deputy Tijerina rose through the ranks, working in numerous law enforcement assignments including Court Security, Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Criminal Warrants, and was also the Commander of the Professional Standards and Integrity Division.

Chief Deputy Tijerina is a graduate of the FBI National Academy - Session 231, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) / HAPCOA Leadership Program, the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Leadership San Antonio - Class 31, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Alex Briseno Leadership Development Program, and the Bexar County Leadership Development Program. Don received his Bachelor’s degree from Wayland Baptist University.

Chief Deputy Tijerina is a proud veteran, retiring from the Texas Air National Guard with over 21 years of service at the rank of Master Sergeant.

Chief Paul Chapa, HAPCOA Secretary Roger Lozano and 2015 National President Don Tijerina welcome POTUS to San Antonio, TX.

Chief Deputy Tijerina and HAPCOA Executive Director Chapa meet with Department of Justice Officials in Washington, DC.


HAPCOA National Board Member Sworn in as Sheriff

(San Antonio)  On January 1st, Javier Salazar was officially sworn-in at the Bexar County Courthouse as the newly elected Sheriff of Bexar County, TX.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has 1900 employees and is the 11th largest Sheriff’s Office in the nation.  Bexar County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation and covers 1257 square miles and has a population of more that 1.8 million people.

Sheriff Salazar was also elected, this past November, to serve on the HAPCOA Board of Directors as its 4th Vice President.

A number of HAPCOA San Antonio Chapter members attended Sheriff Salazar’s swearing-in to include two former Bexar County Sheriffs who remain active HAPCOA members: Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz and Sheriff Ralph Lopez and Trinity University Police Chief Paul Chapa, a former HAPCOA National President.

Also present and representing the HAPCOA’s National Board of Directors included: Captain Don Tijerina, Director Emeritus; Roger Lozano, National Secretary and Anthony Chapa, Executive Director.

Approximately 500 invited guests, VIPs and elected officials, attended the inauguration and swearing-in program.  The program included presentations and welcoming comments by US Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Texas State Senator Jose Menendez, Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert, with the Oath of Office being administered by Justice Rebecca Martinez, Fourth Court of Appeals.  Following was an Inaugural Address provided by Sheriff Salazar.

HAPCOA wishes Sheriff Javier Salazar the best in his new position and we look forward to his leadership as we plan for our next National Law Enforcement Training Symposium.

Sheriff Salazar accompanied by his wife Sarah.

Javier Salazar sworn in Bexar County Sheriff.

Chief Paul Chapa and Executive Director Tony Chapa attend the swearing-in event.


HAPCOA NCR Chapter Supports 16th Annual Christmas Food Drive

The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association – National Capitol Region Chapter, along with members of the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association, the United Black Police Officers Association and the Association of Police Attaches of Latin American (APALA) joined forces and held its 16th Annual Christmas Food Basket drive for needy families on Friday, December 16, 2016.

This year’s event was held at a public housing project in Hyattsville, Maryland (just 15 minutes east of Washington, DC).  Despite cold sub-freezing temperatures hundreds of needy families lined up at 6am for bags of much needed food supplies.  Volunteer members of the hosting law enforcement organizations and volunteers from the local community loaded up food ‘baskets’ and then distributed them to the families.  Each bag was loaded with donated food staples provided by the noted law enforcement organizations and local grocery merchants like MEGA MART.

Over 1,200 bags of much needed food items were shared with members of the Latino community.  Local Spanish language radio stations provided press coverage.

On site and organizing the event was HAPCOA NCR Chapter President Captain Joe Perez (Prince Georges County Police Department).  Also attending and representing HAPCOA were Richard Rosa, National 1st Vice President, National Sgt at Arms Manny Ovalle and Executive Director Anthony Chapa.

Families line up for food baskets while volunteer officers unload trucks of supplies.

Teams of volunteers organized the food supplies and prepared to fill the bags of food.

Alex Zunca, Baltimore County Police Force, filling bags with food and the joy of the season.

Volunteer representing the Ecuadorian National Police loads food bags.

APALA volunteers also included uniformed members from the Panamanian National Police and the Mexican Federal Police.

Happy Holidays from HAPCOA & APALA.


Art Acevedo Sworn in as Houston Police Chief

(Houston) Members of the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) and members of the National Latino Peace Officers Association (NLPOA) proudly attend the swearing in of Art Acevedo as the new Chief of Police of the Houston Police Department on Wednesday, November 30, 2016.
Art “Ace” Acevedo was sworn in as the Chief of the fifth largest police force in the United States with a team of over 5,000 officers.

Before the press Chief Acevedo said that in his first weeks in office he will focus on building relationships with the community and his new police force, as well as taking a look at various department procedures to make sure HPD is “working smarter, not harder.” Acevedo said he will be sending out a survey to all officers asking what their needs are, and that he will immediately begin looking for ways to make improvements.

Previously Chief Acevedo served as Police Chief in Austin, TX for nearly10 years and prior was a Division Chief with the California Highway Patrol. Chief Acevedo previously received the HAPCOA “Aguila Award”, which is HAPCOA’s highest national recognition award and he also previously served as National President of the NLPOA.

HAPCOA proudly congratulates Chief Acevedo.

Chief Acevedo congratulated by Richard Garcia, HAPCOA (retired Assistant Director FBI)


HAPCOA & NLPOA stand tall with Chief Acevedo



HAPCOA Members Empowering the Future of Law Enforcement

(Washington)  The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) held its 43rd Annual National Law Enforcement Training Symposium, November 14-17, 2016, in Long Beach, CA.  This year’s theme was “Trust, Training and Technology in Support of 21st Century Policing”.

During the events role call it was revealed that several HAPCOA members have been promoted and selected to major law enforcement leadership posts nationwide.  This includes the recent election of HAPCOA member Javier Salazar to Sheriff of Bexar County (the county includes San Antonio which is the 7th largest city in the US) and the selection of Art Acevedo to the position of Chief of the Houston Police (the fourth largest city in the US).

In addition HAPCOA members and presenters present included the following Hispanic law enforcement leaders in Policing:  Chief Robert Luna, Long Beach Police Department; Chief Paul Chapa, Trinity University, San Antonio; Chief Teresa Ramon, Judson ISD, San Antonio, TX; Assistant Chief Hector Velez, Prince Georges County Police Department, Prince Georges County, MD; Inspector General Carlos Acosta, Prince Georges County Police Department; Assistant Chief George Villegas, Los Angeles Police Department; Commander Joaquin Herran (retired), Los Angeles Sheriffs Office, William Martinez, Chief of Police (retired), St. Paul Police Department, and many others.

Current and retired HAPCOA members attending who represented Federal Law Enforcement Agencies included:  Adam Torres, former US Marshal, Central District of California; Richard Garcia, retired Assistant Director in Charge, FBI; Anthony Chapa, retired Assistant Director, US Secret Service; John Torres, retired Deputy Assistant Director, ATF; Tony Cox, Special Agent in Charge, NCIS; Joe Macias, Special Agent in Charge, DHS-Homeland Security Investigations and many others. 

Presenters at this years national Symposium included:  Sheriff Jim McDonnell, Sheriff, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Roderick Allison, Assistant Administrator/Director Office of Law Enforcement/ Federal Air Marshal Service/TSA; Darryl De Sousa, Deputy Commissioner, Baltimore Police Department; Commander Michael Parker, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department; Chief Jarrod Burguan, San Bernardino Police Department; Sergeant-II Michael Odle, Los Angeles Police Department; Brian Buchner, Policy Director, Office of Public Safety, Mayors Office, Los Angeles; Fr. Mark Bandsuch, Associate Professor, Loyola Marymount University; Inspector General Max Huntsman, Los Angeles County; Christopher McFarlin, American Military University; Chief Patrick Gannon, Deputy Executive Director, Los Angeles World Airports; among others.

Also attending HAPCOA this year were leadership representatives and fellows of the following professional law enforcement associations:  International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), National Latino Peace Officers Association (NLPOA), National Asian Peace Officers Association (NAPOA) and the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization (NLLEO).

Sworn-in as the HAPCOA 2017 National President was Captain-III Tina Nieto, Los Angeles Police Department.  Tina becomes the first female President of HAPCOA.

Also sworn-in as members of the 2017 HAPCOA National Board were:

  • Executive Director:  Anthony Chapa, Assistant Director (retired) US Secret Service;
  • Immediate Past-President: John Torres, Deputy Assistant Director (retired) ATF;
  • President Emeritus: Captain Don Tijerina, Bexar County Sheriffs Office;
  • 1st VP:  Richard Rosa, Supervisory Federal Air Marshal, FAMS;
  • 2nd VP: Teresa Ramon, Chief, Judson ISD Police Department;
  • 3rd VP:  Steve Noguera, ASAC, Naval Criminal Investigative Service;
  • 4th VP:  Javier Salazar, Sheriff-elect, Bexar County Sheriffs Office;
  • Sergeant at Arms:  Manny Ovalle, Ombudsman (retired), USSS-Uniformed Division;
  • Secretary: Roger Lozano, Governor’s Appointment, Texas Violent Gang Task Force;
  • Treasurer: Clarence Jorif, Senior Special Agent, US Secret Service;
  • Event Coordinator:  Mary Cox, National Training Symposium and Exposition.

Chief Paul Chapa, Trinity University, San Antonio and Commissioner Nicolas Perrin, Mexican Federal Police, who serves as President of the Association of Police Attaches of Latin America in Washington, DC


Center: Opening Keynote Speaker Sheriff Jim McDonnell, Los Angeles County


Captain Tina Nieto, Los Angeles Police Department, was sworn in as 2017 National President of HAPCOA


HAPCOA 2016 National President John Torres presents the HAPCOA Presidents Award to Sheriff Jim McDonnell with sponsor Alex Giuffrida of CNC Technologies


Executive Director Tony Chapa, Bexar County Sheriff-elect Javier Salazar & Chief Robert Luna, Long Beach, CA


Executive Director Chapa, President Cindy Rodriguez of the National Latino Peace Officers Association and President John Torres, HAPCOA, share a moment at the opening ceremony.


This Violence Against Law Enforcement Must End

This Violence Against Law Enforcement Must End

To deliberately target those in society who have committed their lives to public service is the most deplorable and heinous act of violence. Law enforcement officers around the world dedicate their lives to safeguarding our communities and helping others. Once they take that oath of office, they are always on call. If officers see someone in trouble when they are off-duty, they don’t turn their backs, they move to assist. We are there to assist and to help those who need it the most at all times.

To witness four officers being ambushed in the United States in a 24-hour period due to the uniform and badge they wear sickens me to my core. In this month alone, we have buried 15 U.S. officers; however, acts of violence against law enforcement are not confined to the United States. Parents, siblings, spouses, children, friends, and colleagues around the world are all having to say goodbye too soon.

This global violence against the police must end. To that end, the IACP will convene a task force to address the issue of violence against the police and to make concrete recommendations to prevent further tragedies and to help safeguard those who have made it their mission to protect others. The recommendations will include both guidance for law enforcement agencies and policy changes that can and should be adopted by the new U.S. administration and Congress. As president of the IACP, I will head up this task force, and I will be assembling a diverse group of members to join me in looking for broad solutions that can prevent further assaults against the police.

The United States will be celebrating Thanksgiving in a few short days. I ask you to join me in thanking officers for their dedication to service and appreciating the security they provide. I call upon everyone to stand up, make their voices heard, and declare their support for law enforcement. This is not a time to be divisive. This is a time for elected officials, community leaders, and citizens around the world to support the law enforcement officers who work tirelessly to make their communities and this world a safer place.

Donald W. De Lucca
IACP President

SafeGuard CoolMax vest to be auctioned at the Symposium

As part of SafeGuard's commitment ensuring the safety and protecting the lives of law enforcement and military operatives, the brand recently announced a donation to HAPCOA, the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, established in 1973. The nationwide organization has received one of the brand's CoolMax carriers, which is to be auctioned at their annual conference. 

In keeping with HAPCOA's dedication to meeting the challenges of selection, promotion and retention of Hispanic American men and women in professional law enforcement and the criminal justice system, SafeGuard's armor addresses the concerns of their communities through the implementation of innovative, state-of-the art protection technology. 

The range of CoolMax vests are characterized by optimum ventilation, and offer maximum protection in extreme weather conditions - something that greatly benefits law enforcement agents who need to patrol the streets for hours at a time. Using cutting edge technology, SafeGuard has engineered a line of vests to offer comfort and security that fits the specific needs of the law enforcement community. 

The CoolMax range of premier covert carriers fit ideally underneath the uniform of police officers, keeping them safe from ballistic threats while remaining perfectly concealed. They are comfortable to wear, lightweight and flexible, which means they don't affect an officer's range of movement or endurance. Specialized CoolMax materials make this a breathable and comfortable model, offering unobtrusive and discreet protection. SafeGuard's CoolMax carriers are designed with multiple points of adjustment to ensure that law enforcement agents are able to get the perfect fit for their body type.

The material is designed to create a low profile and ensure the vest is not noticeable under clothing. It is made of material that is designed to allow air to circulate with ease to ensure that officers do not sweat profusely while wearing it. The carrier is heavily padded to ensure that the vest has the specific level of protection that it is designed to have. All in all, SafeGuard's CoolMax range of protective carriers is developed in keeping with the latest industry standards and best practices to provide a full-featured safety solution to the law enforcement industry. As the company is committed to the same mission of promoting security and empowering police officers as HAPCOA - the donation marks the beginning of a strategic partnership that will be beneficial to the community of Hispanic American men and women in professional law enforcement and the criminal justice system.