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HAPCOA and Vice President Pence Present Aguila Awards

May 3, 2019

(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.

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