HAPCOA helps sponsor two families from Puerto Rico to visit National Police Week

(Washington DC)  The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) along with the Spanish American Law Enforcement Association (SALEA of Philadelphia) and the Hispanic Officers Law Enforcement Association (HOLEA of Baltimore) helped provide donations to sponsor the visit of two Puerto Rican familiesduring Police Week 2019.  This endeavor was spearheaded by Baltimore City Hispanic Police Officers from HOLEA who accompanied the families of fallen officers, Andres Laza-Caraballo and Joel Alexis Pantojas Fuentes whose lives were lost in protectingand serving the citizens of Puerto Rico.


Special Agent in Charge of the Vice Presidential Protective Division Awarded Aguila Statue Award.

WASHINGTON There was a time when Hector Hernandez questioned his future in law enforcement.

“April 19th, 1995, the day of the Oklahoma City Bombing, was the worst it ever was,” Hernandez said. “I was one of the first Secret Service Agents on the scene. I knew the people in that rubble. I wasn’t sure I could keep doing this job after that but something about the people here made me decide that I had to stay and do right by them. That’s all I’m trying to do.”

Thanks to the mentoring and friendship Hernandez received from the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) and the Secret Service, he pressed forward. Now, he is the Special Agent in Charge of the Vice Presidential Protective Division and is receiving HAPCOA’s most prestigious award.

On May 1, Hernandez received HAPCOA’s Aguila Statue Award. The 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 principles of HAPCOA was founded to promote,” according to the organization.

Hernandez has been a proud member of the HAPCOA community for years and considers the organization to have been an integral part of his development in law enforcement. The organization was established in 1973 and is the oldest and largest association of Hispanic American law enforcement command members in the United States.

“Some of the best mentors throughout my career have been Hispanic Americans within the law enforcement community,” said Hernandez. “They understand where I’ve come from and they have helped me get to where I am now.”

When Hernandez was a young agent and sought the mentorship of HAPCOA members, he never dreamed he would one day be receiving the organization’s highest award or that he would be leading the Vice Presidential Protective Division.

“I have only earned a piece of this award,” Hernandez said. “The rest of it is for the men and women that saw something in me and encouraged me to keep going no matter what.”


HAPCOA Attends 2019 National Police Week Activities

(Washington, DC)  The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) was invited to attend a number of special events celebrating National Police Week in our Nation’s Capitol.  

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that designated May 15thPeace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.  Each year since tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events, receptions and meetings with honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

This year the Director of the FBI held a (by invitation only) reception for law enforcement executives and leaders of law enforcement association to attend its first Law Enforcement reception at FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC.  This event included a tour of the FBI Experience Museum and comments by FBI Director Christopher A. Wray. Representing HAPCOA at this reception included Rich Rosa, Immediate Past National President, Chief Paul Chapa, Past National President, and Tony Chapa, Executive Director.

FBI Director Wray addresses the Police Week Reception.

HAPCOA representatives also meet with attending members of the IACP, National Latino Peace Officers Association, NOBLE, HOLA, NLLEO and others.

Tony Chapa, Chief Paul Cell, IACP National President, Chief Paul Chapa and Rich Rosa, Immediate Past President, HAPCOA at FBI HQ reception.

Tony Chapa, Rich Rosa and Chief Vera Bumpers, National President of NOBLE and Dwayne Crawford, Executive Director, NOBLE.

Paul Chapa, Roy Garivey, NLPOA National Board, Rich Rosa and Tony Chapa

Tony Chapa, Phil Keith, Director of the DOJ/COPS Program, and Rich Rosa.


HAPCOA representatives attended the 31st Annual Candlelight Vigil, which was held on Monday, May 13, 2019 on the National Mall.  The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial sponsored the event.

Chief Paul Chapa, Trinity University Police Department, San Antonio, TX visits the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial wall and creates a rubbing of the inscribed name of his fallen officer.

Chief Paul Chapa and Tony Chapa visit the NLEMO wall on behalf of HAPCOA.



(Baltimore) The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) has signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Global Alliance of Hispanic Law Enforcement Professionals (GAHLEP).  The MOU was signed on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, during the 45th Annual National Law Enforcement Training Symposium held in Baltimore, MD.

The GAHLEP is a professional organization that supports the NYPD and the greater Hispanic Community.  The mission of GAHLEP is to improve the individual and collective proficiency of their members in the performance of their duties and to encourage fraternal, educational, charitable and social activities among their members.

Signing the MOU on behalf of HAPCOA was National President Rich Rosa and signing on behalf of GAHLEP was NYPD Sgt Johnny R. Nunez, its Founder and National President.  Witnessing the signing were NYPD Deputy Chief Manuel De La Rosa and HAPCOA National Vice President Stephen Noguera.

GAHLEP supported the HAPCOA National Training Symposium by providing the Aguila Award Luncheon Keynote Speaker:  Deputy Chief Manuel De La Rosa (retired), NYPD Transit Bureau.  GAHLEP also provided most of the raffle items to include a red boxing glove and fight poster signed by famed Panamanian Boxer Roberto Duran.

HAPCOA looks forward to working with GAHLEP as it follows its mission of “Empowering 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 committed to a career in the criminal justice arena and to the communities in which they serve and protect.

Signing of the MOU between HAPCOA and GAHLEP during the Aguila Award Luncheon. Seated are Johnny Nunez, President of GAHLEP and Rich Rosa, President of HAPCOA.  Standing is NYPD Deputy Chief Manual De La Rosa and HAPCOA VP Stephen Noguera.

GAHLEP members pose with the HAPCOA 2018 Aguila Statue Award winner SAIC Hector Hernandez of the US Secret Service.


HAPCOA Swears in 2019 National Board

(Baltimore) Each year, during the HAPCOA General Membership meeting, the HAPCOA National Board is elected or promoted depending on their positions.  Several positions are also filled by appointment.  At the HAPCOA 45th Annual National Law Enforcement Training Symposium, the HAPCOA Membership meeting was held on Monday, April 29th. 

The newly confirmed, elected and/or appointed members of the 2019 HAPCOA National Board include: 

  • President Chief Teresa Ramon, Judson ISD, San Antonio, TX 
  • 1st VP Stephen Noguera, RAC, Naval Criminal Investigative Service 
  • 2nd VP Sheriff Javier Salazar, Bexar County Sheriff's Office, San Antonio, TX 
  • 3rd VP Ivan Acosta, SAC, Naval Criminal Investigative Service 
  • 4th VP Lt. Steve Reyna, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, San Antonio, TX 
  • Immediate Past President Richard Rosa, SFAM (retired) Federal Air Marshals, Baltimore, MD  
  • President Emeritus Chief Tina Nieto, Marina Police Department, Marina, CA 
  • Secretary Mary Ruiz, SSA (retired), IRS-CID, San Antonio, TX 
  • Treasurer CJ Jorif, SSA (retired), US Secret Service, Dallas, TX 
  • Sgt-at-Arms Manny Ovalle, Ombudsman (retired), Uniformed Division, USSS, Washington, DC 
  • Historian/Parliamentarian Yasmin Favela, SA, AFOSI, Germany 

Appointed Positions: 

  • Director at Large Don Tijerina, Chief Deputy (retired), Bexar County Sheriff's Office, San Antonio, TX 
  • Executive Director Tony Chapa, Assistant Director (retired), US Secret Service, Washington, DC 
  • Symposium Coordinator Mary Cox, Arizona

The HAPCOA 2019 National Board was sworn-in by Tom Ostrosky of Verizon Wireless, who also delivered the Keynote Address on Thursday, May 2nd at the Closing Reception. 

The HAPCOA membership each year elects a new 4th Vice President (VP) who then progresses up the ranks each year and eventually ends up as National President.  The HAPCOA VP promotion model is similar to the one utilized by the IACP.  HAPCOA to ensure equal participation by command officers from both Federal Agencies and non-Federal agencies, at the board VP level, offers the 4th VP position to alternate members from Federal and Non-Federal Agencies.  This year the VP position was offered to a non-Federal Agency HAPCOA member.  Elected to the 4th VP position was Lt. Steve Reyna of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office (San Antonio, TX).  Steve is a longtime supporter of HAPCOA and previously served on the HAPCOA National Board as Sergeant-at-Arms.  Furthermore, he is also an active board member on the San Antonio HAPCOA Chapter. 

The HAPCOA National Board positions of Secretary, Treasurer, Sgt-at-Arms and Historian Parliamentarian are positions that are filled every two years.  These positions are held for two years and then are up for election or re-election.  This year three of our previous position holders (Mary Ruiz, Secretary; Manny Ovalle, Sgt-at Arms; and CJ Jorif, Treasurer) ran for re-election and were elected running unopposed. New to the Board is Yasmin Favela who is a member of AFOSI and presently assigned in Germany. 

As is customary, the outgoing National President (Richard Rosa) remains on the Board as its Immediate Past President.  Last year’s Immediate Past President (Chief Tina Nieto) assumes the position as President Emeritus. 

HAPCOA Chapter Presidents are (non-voting) supporting members of the National Board and are invited to attend all formal meetings.  Present active HAPCOA chapters include: Atlanta, Los Angeles, National Capitol Region, San Antonio, and Panama. 

The National Board schedules quarterly meetings to address HAPCOA business matters, and plans for the next HAPCOA National Law Enforcement Training Symposium.  The President with concurrence from the National Board selects the location of each year’s National Law Enforcement Training Symposium.  The site of next year’s Symposium will be San Antonio, TX – details to follow.

Chief Deputy (retired) Don Tijerina, San Antonio Chapter President, delivers a message from 2019 National President Chief Teresa Ramon at the HAPCOA Closing Reception.

HAPCOA 2019 National Board members: (First row) Tony Chapa, Executive Director; Yasmin Favela, Parliamentarian Historian; Mary Ruiz, Secretary; Manny Ovalle, Sgt-at-Arms. (Second row) Don Tijerina, Director at Large; Ivan Acosta, 3rd VP; Richard Rosa, Immediate Past President. (Back row) C.J. Jorif, Treasurer and Stephen Noguera, 1st VP.  Not pictured are Chief Teresa Ramon, 2019 National President, Chief Tina Nieto, President Emeritus, Sheriff Javier Salazar, 2nd Vice President, and Steve Reyna, 4th Vice President.


HAPCOA and Vice President Pence Present Aguila Awards

(Baltimore) The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) sponsors the coveted “AGUILA Awards Program”. Aguila is the Spanish word 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 by the HAPCOA Aguila Awards Committee received their 2018 Aguila Awards at the awards luncheon held on May 1, 2019 at the HAPCOA 45th Annual National Law Enforcement Training Symposium. The Aguila Awards Luncheon was held at the Embassy Suites, Baltimore MD Inner Harbor. Deputy Chief Manuel E. De La Rosa of the NYPD Transit Bureau delivered the Keynote address. He was also awarded the HAPCOA Presidents Award President Rich Rosa.

Presenting, the HAPCOA Aguila Award was Vice President Mike Pence. The Aguila Award winner, Hector Hernandez, serves as the Special Agent in Charge of the Vice Presidents Protection Detail and is the first Hispanic to serve as the Senior Executive in Charge of the VP's Security Detail.

HAPCOA National President Rich Rosa presented the Aguila Award Medals (Bronze, Silver and Gold) and the Harris Innovation in Investigations Award. Serving as Master of Ceremony of the event was Anthony Chapa, Executive Director of HAPCOA.


Hector Hernandez
Special Agent in Charge
Vice Presidential Protection Division United States Secret Service

Washington, DC

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.


Gold Medal of Valor Awards:

Special Agent Victor Avila (retired), and Special Agent Jaime Zapata (posthumously) US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations Department of Homeland Security

US Embassy, Mexico City, Mexico

Presented to an individual(s), who while on official duty, performed beyond the call, exemplifying courage and boldness.

Silver Medal for Meritorious Conduct:

Special Agent Omar Lopez
Assistant Director
Naval Criminal Investigative Service Washington, DC

Presented to an individual, who has performed meritorious work in Law Enforcement.

Bronze Medal for Community Service:

Cathy Sanz
Executive Director
Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) Washington, DC

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.

The Harris Innovation in Investigations Award:

Nelson Rivera
United States Postal Inspection Service Seattle, WA

This award is presented to an individual, group or task force that uses emerging technology and cyber security tools to advance the investigative mission of law enforcement.

The HAPCOA Aguila 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 with honor, duty and courage.

Tony Chapa & Vice President Pence stand as Aguila Award Winner Hector Hernandez delivers his acceptance speech.

Over 175 individuals attend the HAPCOA Aguila Awards Luncheon.


VP Mike Pence attends Aguila Awards Luncheon


2019 Scholarship Awards Reception

HAPCOA Youth Scholarship Information: http://hapcoa.org/templates/files/hapcoa-scholarship-info.pdf


Latinos Lead Federal Law Enforcement Agencies in Los Angeles in 2012

HAPCOA Salutes Jesus "Chuy" Rangel on having his art piece entitled Los Chingónes de Califas” being selected to be made part of the permanent collection at the National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum in Albuquerque, NM.  

The art piece noted below is a rendition of a historic meeting of the 7 heads of the Federal Law Enforcement Agencies in Los Angeles back in 2012.  Not before or since have all the leaders of the Federal Law Enforcement Agencies in Los Angeles been Hispanic and all proud members of HAPCOA. 

Pictured in this painting are Richard Garcia (retired Assistant Director of FBI Los Angeles Division),  seated: John Torres (retired then Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Los Angeles), Adam Torres (retired then US Marshal), Jorge Urquijo (retired Special Agent in Charge of the EPA CID Los Angeles), Tony Chapa (retired then Special Agent in Charge of the US Secret Service Los Angeles Field Office), one knee, Stephen Delgado (retired then Special Agent in Charge Los Angeles Field Division) and Oscar Villanueva (then Inspector in Charge of the US Postal Inspection Service Los Angeles Field Office).  The back drop for this picture is the Alamo village at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.  The costumes were provided by friends at Sony Pictures.

An upcoming art show at the National Cultural Center Art Museum, entitled "Que Chola", will include the art work of 29 Latino artists to include 'Chuy'.  If you are in the area you are invited to attend the opening reception which will be held on Friday, March 8th from 6pm - 9pm and its free to the public.  The exhibit runs from March 8 through August 4, 2019.


Promotional Seminar