HAPCOA News

 

May
20

White House Honors 13 Law Enforcement Officers for Acts of Valor

(Washington DC)  On Monday, May 16, 2016 the White House held its Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor ceremony.  The event was held with the White House and was attended by the President and Attorney General Loretta Lynch among other VIPs.  The awards were presented by President Obama to 13 awardees selected for years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, authorized by the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001, is the highest national award for valor presented to a public safety officer. The medal is awarded to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.

The Medal of Valor is awarded by the President of the United States, or his designee, to public safety officers cited by the Attorney General. Public safety officers are nominated by the chiefs or directors of their employing agencies and recommended by the Medal of Valor Review Board.

The official White House press release which names the awardees and their agencies can be found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/05/13/advisory-president-obama-award-medals-valor

HAPCOA was invited to send 16 representatives to attend the morning long event.  HAPCOA supporters who attended included Executive Director Anthony Chapa, Nelson Garabito, Luis Rodriguez, Luis Torres, Michael Rubin, Juan Damian, Miguel Core and a host of supporting members.

Photo:  President Obama addresses Medal of Valor awardees, their families and guests at the White House.



Photo:  Santa Monica College PD and City of Santa Monica PD Officers were awarded the Medal of Valor.   These officers were recognized for their actions in response to a 2013 rampage on campus that left five people dead.



Photo:  Executive Director Chapa with Dallas PD Officers (who are also members of the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization) who attended the White House event.  

 
 
May
16

HAPCOA Executive Director Attends National Police Week Events

(Washington DC)  HAPCOA members were on hand to participate in a variety of National Police Week ’16 special events.

On Thursday, May 12th, HAPCOA Executive Director Anthony Chapa along with several hundred special guests attended the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund ‘Chairman’s Gala’ held at Ronald Reagan Building Atrium Ballroom.

On Friday, May 13th, Executive Director Chapa was invited to represent HAPCOA at a White House briefing on criminal justice reform, community policing, and working with immigrant and refugee communities.  Offering welcome remarks was Julie Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Public Engagement.  Briefings were offered to invited law enforcement executives by Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Department of Homeland Security; and Director Ron Davis, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Department of Justice. A panel discussion was moderated by Heather Fong, Assistant Secretary for State and Local Law Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security.  Closing remarks were provided by Neil Eggleston, Assistant to the President and Counsel to the President.

The 28th Annual Candlelight Vigil, sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, was attended by several thousand law enforcement officials, families and survivors from around the nation.  Due to active construction at the memorial museum site this year’s event was held on the National Mall near the US Capitol.  Special remarks were provided by the Honorable Jeh Johnson, Secretary DHS and the Honorable Loretta Lynch, Attorney General.  VIPS included senior members of the administration, Directors Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, State Law Enforcement Officials, County Sheriff’s and over 500 Chiefs of Police.

Photo:  Attending the Chairman’s Gala Catherine Sanz, Executive Director Women in Federal Law Enforcement; Andrew Peralta, National President National Latino Peace Officers Association (who is also a HAPCOA member) and Executive Director Chapa, HAPCOA.
 

Photo:  Executive Director Chapa presents Craig Floyd, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund with the HAPCOA Lapel Pin at the Memorial site.
 

Photo:  Director Davis, COPS, DOJ; Deputy Sec Mayorkas, DHS; Special Assistant to the President Rodriguez; Assistant Sec Fong, DHS  and Deputy Assistant to the President Austin.

Photo:  Special Assistant to the President Julie Rodriguez and Executive Director Chapa
 

Picture:  Attending Annual Candlelight Vigil: CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske, Executive Director Chapa and DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
 

Picture:  The 28th Annual Candlelight Vigil, on the National Mall in Washington, DC
 

Pieture:  “It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, its is how they lived”, Vivian Eney Cross, Survivor

 
 
May
11

HAPCOA TO PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL POLICE WEEK ‘16

HAPCOA members will participate in a number of National Police Week events to include a White House briefing on criminal justice reform, community policing, and working with immigrant and refugee communities on Friday, May 13, 2016.  This briefing will include updates from senior White House officials about these and other issues, as well as provide us with an opportunity to ask questions and provide input.

Schedule for 2016

http://www.policeweek.org/schedule.html

Note: National Peace Officers Memorial Day falls on Sunday, May 15 in 2016. Because National Police Week takes place during the calendar week on which May 15 falls, this year's official NPW dates are Sunday, May 15, 2016 through Saturday, May 21, 2016. However, several annual events will take place before May 15. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Annual Blue Mass (Confirmed)
The Blue Mass will be held at 12:10 p.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church (10th & G Streets, NW, Washington, DC). For additional information please call 202-347-2713 or visit www.saintpatrickdc.org 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Washington Area Law Enforcement Memorial Service (Confirmed)
The FOP Auxiliary in hosting the 37th Annual Washington Area Law Enforcement Memorial Service. 11am in front of DC Metropolitan Police headquarters. If you are interested in volunteering at the service, helping with set up or take down please send an email to Patty Sucato at psucato@dc-fop.org

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Police Unity Tour Arrival Ceremony
Arrival Ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. Begun in 1997, the Police Unity Tour has raised nearly 16 million dollars for the NLEOMF. Visit www.policeunitytour.com, call 973-443-0030, or E-mail info@unitytour.com for more information.

Friday, May 13, 2016

28th Annual Candlelight Vigil
The Candlelight Vigil will be held at 8:00 p.m. The event is sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. No tickets are required and everyone is welcome. For additional information please call 202-737-3400. Because of construction for the National Law Enforcement Museum, the vigil will be held at the National Mall between 4th and 7th streets.

FOP DC Lodge #1 Events
The FOP DC Lodge will be hosting the local daily events at 1880 2nd Street SW Washington DC (just a few blocks from the Washington Nationals Stadium) The event starts at 11:00 a.m. for three days and goes until 2 a.m. Vendors will be set up during this time and will be there for all three days. Our bar and food service will also be open along with music and entertainment. Pipe bands will be required to check in with security before starting to play. No pipe bands will be allowed to play on the May 15 at the site.

There will be complimentary shuttle service to and from the site with stops at the Lodge, the Memorial, Navy Yard Metro and other stops along with route. The van drivers are all volunteers and are working off of tips. Please take care of them.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

22nd Annual Emerald Society & Pipe Band March and Service
4:30 p.m.: Assemble at New Jersey Avenue and F Street, NW – Step-off promptly at 6:00 p.m. Joseph J. Keenan at (732) 754-7051.

National Police Survivors Conference and C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens
Sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel. Family and co-worker survivors have opportunities to receive support to understanding grief, prepare for trial, learn new coping skills, and build connections with others. School aged children of fallen officers spend the day at Quantico taking part in activities specially tailored for their age. Visit www.nationalcops.org or call 573-346-4911 for more information.

15th annual Steve Young National Honor Guard Competition and Pipe Band Competition
This event is hosted by the Fraternal Order of Police and takes place at the Grant Statue (west front of the United States Capitol.) During the day you will see honor guard teams and pipe bands all performing for the public as they pay their heart felt tributes to law enforcement and the nation’s surviving families. Time: 8:00 a.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m.

Contact: Ken Roske
Fraternal Order of Police, National Memorial Committee
711 4th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
e-mail: policeweekhg@aol.com
www.policeweekhonorguard.com

FOP DC Lodge #1 Events
The FOP DC Lodge will be hosting the local daily events at 1880 2nd Street SW Washington DC (just a few blocks from the Washington Nationals Stadium) The event starts at 11:00 a.m. for three days and goes until 2 a.m. Vendors will be set up during this time and will be there for all three days. Our bar and food service will also be open along with music and entertainment. Pipe bands will be required to check in with security before starting to play. No pipe bands will be allowed to play on the May 15 at the site.

There will be complimentary shuttle service to and from the site with stops at the Lodge, the Memorial, Navy Yard Metro and other stops along with route. The van drivers are all volunteers and are working off of tips. Please take care of them.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

35th Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service
Sponsored by the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police and the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary. The Memorial Service will be held on the West Front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The Service begins at 11:00 a.m. and is expected to run approximately 2 hours. Contact: Andy Maybo (amaybo@dc-fop.org) or Linda Hennie (lshennie@aol.com). The Wreath Laying Ceremony will be held immediately following the Memorial Service

Please note: Service begins promptly at 11 a.m.

FOP DC Lodge #1 Events
The FOP DC Lodge will be hosting the local daily events at 1880 2nd Street SW Washington DC (just a few blocks from the Washington Nationals Stadium) The event starts at 11:00 a.m. for three days and goes until 2 a.m. Vendors will be set up during this time and will be there for all three days. Our bar and food service will also be open along with music and entertainment. Pipe bands will be required to check in with security before starting to play. No pipe bands will be allowed to play on the May 15 at the site.

There will be complimentary shuttle service to and from the site with stops at the Lodge, the Memorial, Navy Yard Metro and other stops along with route. The van drivers are all volunteers and are working off of tips. Please take care of them. 

Monday, May 16, 2015

National Police Survivors Conference and C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens
Day two of conference will allow surviving family and co-workers more opportunities to learn about coping, grief, and build connections. Kids and Teens of fallen officers spend the day with activities. In the evening, family and co-worker survivors can relax and enjoy the "Picnic on the Patio" at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel. Visit www.nationalcops.org or call 573-346-4911 for more information.

 

 
 
May
6

HAPCOA Attends Panamanian National Police Gala

(Panama City)  The Panamanian National Police celebrated its 79th Anniversary Gala on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at the ATLAPA Convention Center in Panama City, Panama.

HAPCOA Panama Chapter members and Executive Director Anthony Chapa attended the event.  Director General Omar Pinzon of the Panamanian National Police (and a member of the HAPCOA Panama Chapter) officiated this auspicious event attended by over 1000 senior police officials, senior members of government and a host of international VIPs.

The high light of this evening’s program was the selection of the Police Official of the Year from the top ten finalists in attendance.  The final candidates were interviewed on stage by a panel of judges and the final top three winners were named.

HAPCOA Executive Director Chapa on behalf of the HAPCOA Panama Chapter presented gifts and HAPCOA lapel pins to the top police officials named that evening.  Director Pinzon publicly recognized the HAPCOA Panama Chapter for its untiring support of his department and of its officers.

Director General Omar Pinzon

 
 
May
2

HAPCOA SUPPORTS ECUADORIAN EARTHQUAKE RELIEF EFFORTS

(Washington, DC)  The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) joined forces with APALA (Association of Latin American Police Attaches), and the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association to support the earthquake relieve efforts underway and directed by the Ecuadorian Embassy in Washington, DC.

Ecuador has suffered from a M7.8 earthquake 27km SSE of Muisne, Ecuador.  The death toll tops 400 and is expected to rise further.

Thursday, April 28 was Police support day at the Embassy of Ecuador.  Helping with the receiving of donations provided by the community included: Anthony Chapa, Executive Director of HAPCOA, Alex Zunca, Director APLA and Police Liaison Attaches from Panama, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Chile and Peru.

On Saturday, April 30 a second container filled with a variety of much needed supplies, diapers, clothing, food and medicines was shipped to Ecuador from Washington, DC.


 
 
Apr
28

Borinqueneers are Awarded the Congressional Gold Medal

by María C. Irizarry-Rodríguez, Special Agent – NCIS (Retired)
Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Alliance – NE FL Chief Advocate
HAPCOA Member

On April 13, 2016, at an official ceremony in the US Capitol, the 65th Infantry Regiment was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. 
From left to right: House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sergeant Major José E. Colón, Colonel Manuel F. Siverio Sr., Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick J. Murphy. Photo: house.gov

HAPCOA has been a proud sponsor and supporter of the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Alliance all throughout the process of petitioning and obtaining this well-deserved recognition.  HAPCOA also contributed funds, which were utilized towards the promotion and dissemination of information, lobbying in Congress, and to the successful evening reception following the awards ceremony, which took place at the Hilton Crystal City, Alexandria, VA. 

Who are the Borinqueneers?

The US Army’s 65th Infantry Regiment was the only Hispanic-segregated, active-duty regiment ever to serve in our US Armed Forces.  The regiment was active from 1899-1956, and fought in WWI, WWII and most notably in the War in Korea.  

The moniker “Borinqueneer” is derived from the name the native inhabitants of Puerto Rico, the Taíno Indians, gave to our island:  Borinquén. 

Although comprised by a majority of Puerto Ricans, during the Korean War, the 65th also embraced Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, Filipinos, Virgin Islanders, and several other ethnicities.

The 65th is credited with executing the last U.S. battalion sized bayonet enemy assault – which took place during the War in Korea.  They also are credited with defending the rear-guard of the US 1st Marine Division during one of the epic military withdrawals in the Korean War, and were the last ones to board the retreating ships (December, 1950).  

Over the span of WWI, WWII and the War in Korea, some of the 65th Infantry Regiment’s achievements include: 10 Distinguished Service Crosses, 258 Silver Stars, 628 Bronze Stars, and

2771 Purple Hearts (670 KIA.)

During the Korean War, the 65th Infantry Regiment participated in 9 major campaigns and received numerous awards, to include two Presidential Unit Citations, and a Meritorious Unit Commendation, among others

Following the War in Korea, the members of the 65th Infantry Regiment were integrated in the regular Army, ending segregation. 

Borinqueneers during the wreath laying ceremony at the Korean War Memorial, Washington, DC, April 13, 2016.

The Congressional Gold Medal

The Congressional Gold Medal is the nation’s highest civilian award, equivalent to a Presidential Medal of Freedom.  It is awarded to those who:

“have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipients’ field long after achieved.”

The Congressional Gold Medal has been rightfully bestowed to other minority veterans who served in segregated units, to include the Navajo Code Talkers, the African-American Tuskegee Airmen, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, the Japanese-American Nisei Veterans and 

the African-American Montford Point Marines.

These Americans, who were contemporaries to our Borinqueneers, achieved greatness despite enduring prejudicial and biased conditions.  They all broke through stereotypes and exceeded expectations, accomplishing this under adverse circumstances. 

We honor them while they are still with us!

Following the official ceremony of the presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal, a reception took place at the Hilton Crystal City, Alexandria, VA.  Funds were contributed on behalf of HAPCOA towards this successful event. From left to right:  HAPCOA members José Callejas, María Irizarry-Rodríguez and HAPCOA 2nd VP Richard Rosa.  María is holding a "collage" of photographs of relatives who were Borinqueneers, to include her father, 3 uncles, her father-in-law, and a very good friend of the family.


From left to right:  HAPCOA 2nd VP Richard Rosa, Borinqueneer Don José E. Colón, and HAPCOA member María Irizarry-Rodríguez.  Don José was the Borinqueneers' last Command Sergeant Major.  He enlisted in the US Army in 1937.  


 

From left to right:  HAPCOA 2nd VP Richard Rosa, Borinqueneer Don Raúl Reyes Castañeira, and HAPCOA member María Irizarry-Rodríguez.  It was Don Raúl who proposed the idea, and inspired the quest, for the Borinqueneers be recognized with the Congressional Gold Medal. 

 

 
 
Apr
18

Help Protect America's Peace Officers

Dear HAPCOA Members,

Traffic-related incidents remain the leading cause of death and injury for America’s law enforcement officers. These incidents have taken the lives of 5,709 peace officers throughout our nation’s history, with more added each year. Please take part in the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s annual Drive Safely Campaign and get a free Drive Safely bumper sticker.

Too many officers directing traffic or helping citizens at accident scenes are tragically struck and killed by speeding, distracted, or drunk drivers. You can play a positive role in promoting traffic safety by:

Your action is important. For the third year in a row, traffic-related incidents were the leading cause of officer fatalities in the first half of 2015. Thirty officers were killed as a result of traffic-related incidents, increasing 20 percent from the same period in 2014.

If we all do our part, we can help protect our protectors on the road.

Thank you for all you do to help honor America's law enforcement officers especially our fallen heroes.

Sincerely,
Craig W. Floyd,
President & CEO

 
 
Apr
9

HAPCOA Member Named Chief at Texas State University

The Vice President for Student Affairs at Texas State University recently announced that Mr. Jose Banales accepted the position of Director and Chief of Police for the University Police Department.  Mr. Jose Banales will begin his official duties on May 2, 2016.   

Mr. Banales has been employed with the San Antonio Police Department from 1983 -2016 where he served in a number of capacities, and since 2010, served as Assistant Chief of Police.  Mr. Banales is bringing a wealth of experience in policing including all facets of operations, anti-terrorism, criminal intelligence, investigations, and emergency management.  During his career, Mr. Banales has worked in the San Antonio community on issues surrounding police practices dealing with mental health and diversity.  He also collaborated on a regular basis with universities in San Antonio to discuss best practices in policing that affect a university community.

Mr. Banales was previously awarded the famed Aguila Award, the highest national recognition award presented by the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA).

 Mr. Banales obtained a bachelor's degree from Texas State University and a master's degree from Webster University.  

 
 
Mar
30

HAPCOA National VP (Teresa Ramon) Invited to White House to serve on a Panel Regarding Women in the Criminal Justice System.

White House to Host Women and the Criminal Justice System Convening

Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 30 the White House will host a convening on Women and the Criminal Justice System.  In honor of Women's History Month and in the lead up to the United State of Women Summit, this event will bring together justice-involved women and girls, family members of incarcerated individuals, women serving in law enforcement and other leading advocates for a more equitable and effective justice system. The event will also provide a collaborative environment to discuss and share ideas on ways to improve women's access to justice in the community, courtroom and cell block.

WHEN:          WEDNESDAY, March 30, 12:30PM ET
WHERE:        South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building

The discussion will be live-streamed between 12:30PM ET and 4:00PM ET time. Visit www.whitehouse.gov/live to tune in. Follow the conversation at #CJandWomen and#USWomen.

Participants include:

  •  Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Attorney General
  • Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the Council on Women and Girls
  • Karol Mason, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs
  • Carol Adams, Sergeant, Police Department of Richmond
  •  Yasmine Arrington, Founder, ScholarChips
  • Teresa Gonzales Ramon, Chief of Police, Judson Independent School District
  • Andrea James, Executive Director and Founder, Families for Justice as Healing
  • Piper Kerman, Author and Consultant, Spitfire Strategies
  • Tracey Meares, Professor, Yale Law School
  • Vivian Nixon, Executive Director, College and Community Fellowship
  • Michele Norris, Radio Journalist and Former Host for National Public Radio
  • Melinda Patterson, Attorney, Patterson & Teelon Law
  • Catherine Pratt, Judge, Superior Court of Los Angeles County
  • Brenda Smith, Co-Director, Community and Economic Development Law Clinic; Director, Project on Addressing Prison Rape, American University, Washington College of Law
 
 
Mar
22

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY JEH C. JOHNSON ON THE ATTACKS IN BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

As the President said, we stand in solidarity with the Belgian people in condemning the terrorist attacks that occurred in Brussels, we mourn the loss of those killed, and we will do what we can to help Belgian authorities bring to justice those responsible for the attacks.  

At present, we have no specific, credible intelligence of any plot to conduct similar attacks here in the United States. That said, we remain very focused on the threat posed by lone terrorist actors who may lack direct connection to a foreign terrorist organization; we are concerned that such radicalized individuals or small groups could carry out an attack in the Homeland with little warning. We also remain very engaged in the effort to identify and disrupt foreign terrorist fighters who may seek to travel to or from the United States. 

The Department of Homeland Security, along with our partners in federal law enforcement and the intelligence community, are doing a number of things to monitor events in Brussels, work with the authorities there, and continue to secure our Homeland. 

First, our personnel have an excellent working relationship with Belgian authorities, and we continually receive information about the attacks and those who may have been involved. Since the Paris attacks in November, we have enhanced information sharing about potential terrorist threats with both Belgian and French authorities, and we will continue this effort.

Second, though we do not require Belgian citizens to have a visa to travel here for business or tourism purposes, both the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have procedures in place to identify and prevent travel here from Belgium by individuals of suspicion. All travelers arriving in the United States are vetted against the U.S. Terrorist Screening Database, regardless of whether they arrive with a visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). We continually evaluate whether more screening is necessary, particularly in light of today’s attacks. 

Third, as a precautionary measure, TSA is deploying additional security to major city airports in the United States, and at various rail and transit stations around the country. TSA is also working closely with state and local law enforcement, airport authorities, and the aviation industry in order to augment that security.

Fourth, we and the FBI have been in communication today with state and local law enforcement, to share the latest about what we know of today’s attacks in Belgium. State and local law enforcement are themselves enhancing their security posture as they deem appropriate. We are also in regular communication with organizations representing the private sector to share with them what we know. 

There are also a number of other security measures we are taking that are not suitable for public disclosure. 

As I have said many times, “If You See Something, Say SomethingTM” is more than a slogan. Public awareness and vigilance are vital to our homeland security efforts, and have in fact prevented terrorist or criminal acts in the past. In today’s environment, we urge the public to continue to travel, visit public events and places, and continue with their daily lives, but at all times be aware and vigilant. You may report threats of suspicious activity to the FBI or your local authorities. Information about how to contact an FBI Field Office can be found at http://www.fbi/contact-us/field. Community leaders, co-workers, friends and family can help by recognizing signs of potential radicalization to violence. For more information visit: https://nsi.ncirc.gov

Additionally, I encourage those U.S. citizens in Belgium who may be affected by these attacks to try contacting their loved ones via social media first. That often works better than cell phones, when usage levels stress local cellular capabilities. U.S. citizens in Belgium injured by the attacks should contact the Belgian Crisis Center by dialing 1771, or the U.S. Embassy at 028114000. U.S. citizens in the U.S. who are concerned about those who may be affected by the attacks should call the State Department hotline 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada (or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries) or send an email to belgiumemergencyusc@state.gov. Please see the State Department’s travel website, www.travel.state.gov, for more information and to inform the Department of State of your travel plans using the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

###