A Statement from the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association

January 8, 2021, Washington, DC -- The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) joins our professional colleagues in condemning the insurrection of our United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

HAPCOA supports the call for a thorough review of the security measures in place within the Capitol at the time of these violent attacks. It appears that we witnessed a catastrophic failure in leadership that resulted in one of the ‘gravest security lapses’ in recent American history.

HAPCOA has always been and remains diligently committed to working with all partners to build and maintain trust in law enforcement.

HAPCOA mourns the loss of life and injury caused by this riotous mob attack on our nation’s Capitol. This was not an acceptable event by any circumstance.

HAPCOA especially mourns the death of US Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick who succumbed to injuries sustained while responding to the riot at the Capitol. Officer Sicknick is the first law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty from a federal agency in 2021.

HAPCOA also recognizes the officers from the US Capitol police force, the DC Metropolitan Police Department, troopers from the Maryland and Virginia State Police, agents of the ATF and the US Secret Service and other surrounding law enforcement agencies who responded in support of this tragic event and who willingly placed themselves in harm’s way to protect others.

HAPCOA also supports the diligent efforts of the DC Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI as they continue to investigate the serious crimes committed and to identify the offenders who must be brought to justice.

HAPCOA supports all efforts in support of a peaceful transition of power on Inauguration Day 2021.


ABOUT HAPCOA: The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) is a non-profit membership organization established in 1973. It 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, university, school and federal levels.

For more information, membership and donations please visit: www.hapcoa.org

Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association
PO Box 29626
Washington, DC 20017


HAPCOA: LA District Attorney George Gascón Sworn-In

(Los Angeles)  On Monday, December 7, 2002, George Gascón was sworn in as the 43rd District Attorney of Los Angeles County.  He immediately outlined his plans for promised criminal justice reforms.

In a twitter message he stated: “Today we will usher in a new era of criminal justice, and transform the largest criminal justice jurisdiction in America”.

DA Gascón began his law enforcement career over 40 years ago.  He served on the Los Angeles Police Department and retired as its Assistant Chief.  He later served as the Chief of Police in Mesa, AZ and as Chief of Police in San Francisco, CA.

In 2011, after Kamala Harris was elected California Attorney General, Governor Newson appointed Gascón to the position of San Francisco District Attorney.  Gascón, during his time with the Los Angeles Police Department, earned his JD degree from Western State College of Law in 1996.

Gascón was born in Havana, Cuba and in 1967 his family immigrated to the United States and settled in the Los Angeles County area.

DA Gascón has been a long time supporter of HAPCOA and we wish him well.


HAPCOA: 2020 Women Law Enforcement Executive of the Year

The National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) hosted its national meeting on August 25, 2020 (virtually).  And although this year’s conference was different from the past years due to recent events, NAWLEE took time to recognize law enforcement leaders that continue to go above and beyond.  Annually, a woman law enforcement professional is recognized for her contributions throughout her career and is presented with the Woman Law Enforcement Executive of the Year Award.  This year Chief Gina Hawkins, of the Fayetteville Police Department, was selected for this honor as she has risen to the challenge to serve and protect her community, all while leading the way to inspire and mentor women within the profession. 

Chief Gina Hawkins, Fayetteville Police Department

This year marks NAWLEE’s 25th Anniversary and Motorola Solutions has been honored to be the founding sponsor of NAWLEE and the Woman Law Enforcement Executive of the Year award.

What made Chief Hawkins the recipient of this year’s award was broken down into several categories: Leading Change, Leading People, Driving Results, Business Acumen, and Building Coalition. Ultimately, she has led the way through her actions and driving change. 

Chief Hawkins is a member of the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) and served as Vice President of the HAPCOA Atlanta Chapter before being named Chief of Police of the Fayetteville Police Department.  Today Chief Hawkins also serves as on the NOBLE National Executive Board.

HAPCOA is proud to congratulate the 2020 Woman Law Enforcement Executive of the Year, Chief Gina Hawkins of the Fayetteville Police Department, North Carolina.


Tuition Reduced for HAPCOA Members at Northcentral University

For more information visit the website here or our sponsor page here.


HAPCOA Invited to Participate in DHS SIMEX Planning Conference

(Washington)  The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) was invited to attend the Initial Planning Conference (IPC) for the DHS Law Enforcement Use of Force Simulation Experiment (SIMEX).  This was a virtual meeting held on Tuesday/ Wednesday December 1-2, 2020.

Brian Dorow, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Lori Sims, Management Project Analyst, both of the Office of Partnership & Engagement provided DHS opening remarks.

The IPC offered the 70+ participants an opportunity to review and approve proposed capabilities and configurations, operational settings, scenarios, threats, outcomes, and the overall design of the use of force experiment.

The expected SIMEX Outcome: Evidence-based data that will support the deterrence and overall reduction of excessive use of force by law enforcement.  Evidenced-based data that will support:

Establishing new policies, procedures and tactics for law enforcement use of force, Fostering employment of new technologies for law enforcement use of force,

Improving situational awareness between arresting officers, stations, and suspects, Providing guidelines for law enforcement use of force in training and exercises.

Continued virtual meetings and conference calls will follow as the SIMEX continues to develop.  The SIMEX final report is due out May 1, 2021.

HAPCOA members invited to attend included: Anthony Chapa, Executive Director of HAPCOA; NYPD Sgt Johnny Nunez (retired) representing the Global Alliance of Hispanic Law Enforcement Professionals (GAHLEP); Dallas PD Sgt George Aranda representing the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization (NLLEO) and Chief Frank Fernandez (retired) formally of the Coral Gables Police Department.

Other professional law enforcement organizations invited to attend the SIMEX included: NOBLE, IACP, FOP, and IACLEA among several others.


HAPCOA Gold Medal Winner Releases New Book

(Washington, DC) Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) member Victor Avila, a retired ICE Special Agent, has released his much-anticipated book, Agent Under Fire; A Murder and a Manifesto.

This book is a true story about two US Federal Agents being shot in the line of duty in 2011 on a highway in Mexico. This is a story of survival and of extreme courage under fire.

Homeland Security Investigation Special Agents Victor Avila and Jaime Zapata were assigned to the US Embassy in Mexico City when they were attacked and wounded by members of a notorious Mexican Drug Cartel. Special Agent Zapata died as a result of his wounds.

Agents Avila and Zapata were both honored by HAPCOA with the awarding of its National Gold Medal of Valor during its National Law Enforcement Training Symposium in 2018.

For more information on how to acquire this book please visit the following website: https://agentunderfirebook.com/


National Faith and Blue Weekend: October 9-11, 2020

A Public-Private Collaborative Effort to Build Bridges and Break Biases
Law Enforcement Unites with Faith Community for a Nationwide Weekend of Resolution and Reconciliation

[Washington, DC] – The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) along with other national law enforcement groups, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and MovementForward, Inc.’s One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP) iniatiive are jointly organizing the most consolidated police-community engagement project in recent history - National Faith and Blue Weekend (NFBW) with FirstNet, Built with AT&T  as its presenting sponsor. The mission of NFBW is to facilitate safer, stronger and more unified communities by connecting law enforcement officers and residents through local houses of worship.

“Finding common ground and ensuring justice for all starts with collaborative and respectful communication and the National Faith and Blue Weekend is evidence of leadership by example,” said Jason Porter, senior vice president, FirstNet Program at AT&T. “Through its mission focused and highly diverse group of faith-based and policing organization leaders, this initiative is laser focused on facilitating positive and actionable community relations between citizens and law enforcement across our Nation. As America’s public safety partner, it’s our honor to support this grassroots effort to strengthen police-community relations in neighborhoods across the country.”

As the nation continues to grapple with recent discord between law enforcement and some of the communities they serve, this weekend will serve as NFBW’s first installation to address an urgent yet longstanding need for authentic collaboration between law enformcent and citizens.

HAPCOA’s mission is to “empower the future of law enforcement” by assisting law enforcement, criminal justice and community organizations nationwide.  Our membership of command staff officers, at the municipal, county, state, university, school and federal levels supports NFBW as it is encourages the faith-based relationship that we have endorsed for over 45 years!

Collaborations between law enforcement and local groups – especially faith-based organizations – are invaluable force-multipliers for creating safer and more engaged communities. NFBW will positively impact Americans by directly engaging community influencers, residents and law enforcement professionals in every state across the U.S. 

“Our pathway to progress around policing as a nation is a collaborative one that focuses on our commonalities rather than our differences,” says Reverend Markel Hutchins, National Lead Organizer, One Congregation One Precinct initiative (OneCOP) and President & CEO, MovementForward, Inc. “Because sixty million Americans attend weekly gatherings at more than 350,000 houses of worship nationwide, nothing rivals the depth and breadth of influence presented by houses of worship who are unique and powerful gateways to the heart of communities in which they have a mutual interest in achieving effective police-community engagement.”

NFBW is slated for October 9 – 11, 2020 with planned activities such as  community dialogues, service projects and other interactive experiences to help foster on-going, authentic and mutual community-law enforcement trust.

NFBW is an unprecedented national law enforcement-community engagement project involving nearly every major national law enforcement group in the United States of America along with the three entities in the federal government that deal most directly with policing. On April 27, 2020, led by Director Keith and Reverend Hutchins, the heads of each of the following organizations participated in the initial meeting:

  • Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, United States Department of Justice
  • Office of Justice Programs, United States Department of Justice
  • Bureau of Justice Assistance, United States Department of Justice
  • Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • International Brotherhood of Police Officers
  • International Conference of Police Chaplains
  • Major County Sheriffs of America
  • National Asian Peace Officers Association
  • National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys
  • National Association of Police Organizations
  • National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives
  • National Black Police Association
  • National District Attorney’s Association
  • National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
  • National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
  • National Narcotics Officers’ Associations’ Coalition
  • National Police Foundation
  • National Sheriffs’ Association
  • Police Executive Research Forum

Initial meeting participants had no idea that the unfortunate death of George Floyd in Minneapolis nearly three weeks later would accelerate and reiterate the need for this so sorely needed, change effort.

For more information about National Faith and Blue Weekend, visit www.faithandblue.org.


ABOUT HAPCOA:  The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) is a non-profit membership organization established in 1973. It 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, university, school and federal levels.  

For more information, membership and donations please visit:  www.hapcoa.org


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Blossoms and Bling!

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