HAPCOA, the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, established in 1973, 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 and federal levels. With members in hundreds of agencies across the United States and Puerto Rico, many of whom are active in local chapters, HAPCOA is a national organization with a local presence.
HAPCOA’s mission is to “empower the future of law enforcement” by assisting law enforcement, criminal justice and community organizations nationwide in their efforts to recruit, train, mentor and promote qualified Hispanic American men and women committed to a career in the criminal justice arena and to communities in which they serve and protect. Additionally HAPCOA serves to assist in the promotion and development of Hispanic’s in law enforcement and to serve as an advocate for Hispanic law enforcement issues.
HAPCOA members have attained a high level of success within their respective law enforcement agencies.
Through HAPCOA, chiefs of police, sheriffs and police superintendents from around the country are committed to meeting the challenges of selection, promotion and retention of Hispanic American men and women in professional law enforcement and the criminal justice system. The courageous men and women of HAPCOA also work diligently to address the concerns of their respective communities and improve community relations through the implementation of innovative, state-of-the art training and educational programs.
HAPCOA members have attained a high level of success within their respective law enforcement agencies, offices and departments through their professional dedication and personal commitment. As they continue to make significant contributions to law enforcement, these exemplary officers serve as positive professional role models for aspiring young law enforcement officers.
Membership in HAPCOA offers professional development opportunities to its members through an annual national training symposium. Each year, at the symposium, HAPCOA recognizes the extraordinary contributions of individuals and organizations through its Aguila Awards program. In addition, membership in HAPCOA offers an information-sharing and support network for all Hispanics in law enforcement. Members may participate in the events and activities of any local chapter and also have access to HAPCOA’s National newsletter. HAPCOA also offers education and training in the Hispanic community both at the local chapter, as well as at the national levels.
HAPCOA grant programs are approximately 95% federally-funded. The annual national training symposium is made possible through corporate sponsorships and registration fees. All other initiatives rely exclusively on membership support – i.e., annual dues.
HAPCOA Past Presidents
Left to Right:
Frank Hernandez, NCIS (2005-2006)
Ray Leyva, Los Angeles Sheriffs Department (2006-2007)
Jim Pina, Phoenix Police Department (2007-2008)
Hector Hernandez, US Secret Service (2008-2010)
Tony Cox, NCIS (2010-2011)
Joaquin Herran, Los Angeles Sheriffs Department (2011-2012)
Paul Chapa, Trinity University (2012-2013)
Letter from the President
Welcome 2021! I am sure most of you are excited to start the new year as much as I am. We want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who lost a loved one due to COVID or any other medical condition. The year 2020 was a very difficult year for our Nation. Unfortunately, our 46th Annual National Law Enforcement Training Symposium, “Enhancing Community Relations and Safeguarding Community Trust,” was set back. Now we are ready to make the official announcement that a new date has been set for November 15 through 18, 2021, in San Antonio, Texas.
It is with great pride and honor that I serve as your 30th National President of the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA). As your National President working along your side with our National Board of Directors, we will show great initiative on every task assigned and will jump on every opportunity to proudly represent our membership. Including our continued support of several National Law Enforcement Associations and Organizations, to include the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Latino Peace Officers Association (NLPOA), Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association (HNLEA), National Coalition of Latino Officers (NCLO), Latin American Law Enforcement Association (LA LAY/LAPD), National Latino Law Enforcement Organization (NLLEO), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Global Alliance of Hispanic Law Enforcement Professionals (GAHLEP/NYPD), Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE), The Latino Coalition, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), the Association of Police Attaches of Latin America (APALA) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), among others.
As of today, we know that many topics have changed for law enforcement across the nation including new boundaries. Our diverse communities have also faced many unique challenges. Our members are from Federal, State, County, Municipal, University and School District law enforcement agencies from across our Nation and are met with command level challenges including the safeguarding of our jurisdictions and encouraging our communities, by our actions and innovations, to trust our decisions while we provide them with a safe and secure environment.
We will introduce to you to several keynote speakers and presenters at this year’s symposium who will challenge you to be the best that you can be while severing your agency. Another challenge will be recruitment of new members to our professional HAPCOA Chapters. This will allow HAPCOA to continue to grow into a powerful professional national organization. We will continue to provide training and representation for our members across our Nation as we represent HAPOCA at national law enforcement events, high-level meetings, academic events, symposiums and conventions. We ask that you help us recruit your peers into our professional organization not only for membership but to help mentor and lead our colleagues into a world of renewed challenges, evolving technology and emerging options for Federal, State, County, Municipal, University and School District Law Enforcement.
Please note that all Local, State and Federal guidelines will be in full force due to COVID restrictions. We will also continue to follow all CDC recommendations. We are looking forward to introducing you to our historic City of San Antonio, Texas where you will be embraced with a rich Hispanic culture of food tasting, fun and music. A welcome bag will be provided to you once you register and will allow you and your family to attend outdoors events (Discount Coupons) including the beautiful River Walk of San Antonio. And before you depart our wonderful city; the HAPCOA San Antonio Chapter will introduce you to a very special evening event. So, bring a pair of boots, jeans, and your favorite cowboy hat and be prepared to enjoy a famed HAPCOA “Pachanga”!
Teresa A. Ramon, Chief of Police
Judson ISD Police Department
HAPCOA National President