FREE to Licensed Peace Officers
Date: February 19 – 21, 2020
Time: 8AM – 5PM
24 hours TCOLE credit
SAFVIC Instructor: Daniel Caddell
Location: Refugio Police Department Training Room
Address: 601 Commerce Street, Refugio, TX 78377
Law enforcement agencies around the state struggle to provide the training and resources to officers to allow for a consistent and effective response to victims of family violence and sexual assault. Family violence and sexual assault issues are becoming more common in Texas peace officers’ day-to-day duties. The amount of training peace officers receive to investigate these crimes is disproportionate to the number of times officers are called to deal with these issues.
The Sexual Assault and Family Violence Investigator’s Course – or SAFVIC (TCOLE Course 3264) is designed to provide law enforcement officers around the state with the tools they need to effectively investigate and prevent sexual assault and family violence. The SAFVIC is funded by a grant from the Criminal Justice Division of the Governor’s Office and the National Violence Against Women Office. This program is administered by the Texas Municipal Police Association with input from a statewide steering committee comprised of representatives from law enforcement, prosecution and victim services.
The SAFVIC consists of a comprehensive curriculum covering crucial aspects related to law enforcement’s response to these crimes, as well as the creation and use of community-based resources to assist law enforcement’s efforts. The program will utilize a network of certified instructors to deliver training on a local basis, thus enabling more officers to take part in this very important training.
Officers attending and successfully completing the SAFVIC will receive 24 hours TCOLE credit. The course is designed to satisfy the requirements of Special Investigative Topics (3232) and successful students will be eligible for a TCOLE special investigator proficiency certificate.
To register for SAFVIC please go to the SAFVIC website at www.safvic.org, click on ‘Register’ on the top right, select the course with the date and location of your choice, and then click on the green ‘Register’ button. If you have further questions, call us toll free at (800) 848-2088. In the event that this specific course does not fit your schedule, SAFVIC will be offered at various locations in Texas at different times. Please check the website, which is updated daily, for upcoming courses in your area.
We hope you take advantage of this opportunity – join us in the quest to better
protect and serve our communities.
Seating is LIMITED. This course is FREE and will fill up fast. Go to the SAFVIC website and be sure to check out their catalog of courses.
The first quarterly meeting of the CBPOA was held in the Central Jury Room of the Nueces County Courthouse on November 1, 1966 and was called to order by the first CBPOA President, Franklin Painter, Supervisor with the TABC in Corpus Christi. Officers and Board of Directors elected were:
First Vice-President: Sheriff Wayne Hitt, San Patricia County Sheriff's Department
Second Vice-President: Sheriff Johnnie Mitchell, Nueces County Sheriff's Department
Secretary/Treasurer: William L. Burch, Nueces County Sheriff's Department
Sergeant-At-Arms: Texas Ranger Silwin H. Denson
Director: Sheriff Bob Reagan, Live Oak County Sheriff's Department
Director: Sgt. Ray Holub, Texas Department of Public Safety, Sinton
Director: Sheriff Jack Robinson, Bee County Sheriff's Department
Director: Chief Frank Petrova, Sinton Police Department
Director: Deputy R.M. Campbell, Kenedy County Sheriff's Department
Director: Chief Felix Turnbough, Aransas Pass Police Department
Director: Sheriff Joe Farinhunt, Aransas County Sheriff's Department
Meeting to be hosted by the Duval County Sheriff's Office.
Meeting to be hosted by the Victoria County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with National Police Officers Memorial Week.
Meeting to be hosted by the Live Oak County Sheriff's Office.
Meeting to be hosted by the Nueces County Sheriff's Office.
President: Derek Franco
1st Vice-President: Sheriff Pinky Gonzales
2nd Vice-Presidnet: Adrian Rodriguez
1st Sr. Dir: John Davis
2nd Sr. Dir: Sheriff Richard Kirkpatrick
1st Jr. Dir: Danny Lorberau
2nd Jr. Dir: Lou Villagomez
Chairman of the Board: Alden Southmayd
Sgt At Arms: Roy Boyd
Secretary/Treasurer: Charity Franco
Chaplain: Rev. T. Wayne Price
Scholarship Chairman: Larry Busby
There are many truly inspiring police leaders, but there are a few who with their words become soul-crushing empty uniforms with rank.
Here are 12 examples of enthusiasm-bleeding statements made too often by “leaders.”
1. While pointing at their stripes on their sleeve, or bars on their collar they declare, “Because these say so.”
Have you ever suggested an alternative way to handle a call and had a commander point at their stripes or bars and say, “We’ll do it my way because these say so?”
End of discussion.
2. “We’ve always done it this way.”
There are times when officers come forward with a plan to solve a reoccurring problem in an innovative way and their suggestion is met with, “Why change the status quo? We have always done it this way.”
End of suggestions. The next three go together.
3. “Slow down. There is no extra pay for making the most arrests.”
4. “Big arrests, big problems, little arrests, little problems, no arrest, no problem.”
5. “If you keep that up (referring to a high volume of self-initiated activity), they are going to expect that of you every night.”
These three statements have been heard by most proactive police officers who love what they are doing and are extremely active on the street. Some supervisors look at very active officers as a problem rather than a solution and feel it’s their mission to slow them down. The sad thing is, these statements often come from peers as well.
6. “The job will never love you back.”
If any officer lets it slip that they love their job, there will be that wise old supervisor, who will point out, “The job will never love you back.”
7. "Did you make that arrest 15 minutes before quitting time just for the overtime?"
Many officers never lose sight of their duty. For example, they realize that arresting an impaired driver saves lives.
No officer motivated to aggressively pursue an impaired driver will hesitate to arrest said driver 15 minutes before quitting time. These officers eventually run into a commander who will suggest their motivation for the arrest was to “pad their check with overtime.”
8. “Do as I say, not as I do.”
Even though every leadership course in the nation says, “Don’t say this; lead by example,” there seems to be no silencing this refrain.
9. “If I’d have been there, I would have….”
Nothing irks a street officer more than when this statement is made by a commander who has maneuvered into a position where they will never have to handle a life-threatening call again. The statement is made worse when this commander does not even supervise the officers who handled the high-profile, life-threatening situation that he or she is criticizing. These personally boastful statements serve only to give officers that hear them a sense no one has their back.
When the actions of the officers are found to be justified, this unnecessary Monday morning quarterbacking will get back to the officers involved in the critical incident and it becomes a source of pain.
10. “You’re not a social worker!”
There are times in every officer’s career when they are moved to go above and beyond for a little boy, a little girl or even an entire family in need. They are motivated by the caring spirit that brought them to this profession.
An officer may take a Christmas tree to a house. They may buy a pair of shoes for a homeless man or drop off a couple of chili dogs to a down-and-out traveler. Most will see the extra effort as laudatory, but there will be that one commander who will proclaim, “You’re not a social worker!”
The truth is police officers are the only social workers who make house calls 24-7. Most of you are pretty damn good at it also, so keep up the good work!
11. “You can’t make a difference. When a cop leaves this job it’s like pulling your hand out of a bucket of water. No one will even notice you were here.”
Really? A cop can’t make a difference?
What about the officers who have dragged people out of burning cars?
What about the officers who have saved lives with Narcan and tourniquets, or delivered babies?
What about the officers who keep many women from being beaten or killed at domestics every night of the week?
What about the Dayton officers who dropped an active shooter just as he was about to enter a crowded night club?
American police officers do make a difference!
12. “Have you scheduled the lobotomy yet?”
Street officers can demoralize a new supervisor as well by asking in response to the announcement of their promotion, “Have they scheduled the lobotomy yet?” This can be especially troubling when the comment comes from a good friend.
Instead, consider saying, “Congratulations my friend. You earned it.”
The people who say these things are not being leaders. They are choosing to be bleeders. They bleed the enthusiasm out of the officers they are supposed to lead.
To supervisors who say these things, learn to be better.
To officers who these things are said to remember to not let anyone keep you from doing what you love and loving what you do. When you hear statements like these just remind yourself not all supervisors are leaders and not all leaders are supervisors.
And then, regardless of your rank, be a leader.
Lt. Dan Marcou is an internationally-recognized police trainer who was a highly-decorated police officer with 33 years of full-time law enforcement experience. Marcou’s awards include Police Officer of the Year, SWAT Officer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Domestic Violence Officer of the Year. Upon retiring, Lt. Marcou began writing. He is a co-author of “Street Survival II, Tactics for Deadly Encounters,” which is now available. His novels, “The Calling, the Making of a Veteran Cop,” “SWAT, Blue Knights in Black Armor,” “Nobody’s Heroes” and Destiny of Heroes,” as well as his latest non-fiction offering, “Law Dogs, Great Cops in American History,” are all available at Amazon. Dan is a member of the PoliceOne Editorial Advisory Board.
The United States Department of Homeland Security bestowed the first ever Operation Stonegarden Top Performers award on Thursday to the Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department.
The award was presented to JWC Sheriff’s staff by United States Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Rodolfo Karisch.
“This is an excellent accomplishment. We are very pleased to accept the award. To be recognized from the San Antonio area all the way down to the Rio Grande Valley, is an accomplishment. This is an administrative team that has worked very hard,” Sheriff Daniel Bueno said. “This is the first time an award like this has been given out...We strive to do the best everyday...Our people here are top notch.”
Sheriff Bueno believes this award proves that his department has helped meet one of his goals when he became the new sheriff in 2017.
“When I took over, I said that we would be recognized by surrounding law enforcement agencies as the top law enforcement agency in the area. This, in itself, shows you what direction the department has taken,” Sheriff Bueno said.
The department’s administrators like Lt. Rey Aguilar, whose in charge of the Operation Stonegarden grant must turn in all cases over to the DHS; everything from narcotics, money seizures, illegal immigration, stolen vehicles, weapon seizures and more. All this data was used to determine who would receive this top award.
Jim Wells County receives $200,000 a year to operate the grant.
President Donald Trump will appoint Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor as United States marshal for the Southern District of Texas, according to a White House news release Friday.
O'Connor, a Republican, has served as Victoria County sheriff since 2005.
Previously, he filled various law enforcement positions in sheriff's offices for Refugio, Goliad and Victoria counties.
He also taught a class on law enforcement professionalism and ethics at Victoria College's Law Enforcement Academy from 2002 to 2004.
O'Connor has served as president of the South Texas Coastal Sheriff's Alliance, which includes 23 counties along the Coastal Bend, as a former President of the Coastal Bend Peace Officers Association, and board chair of the Law Enforcement Alliance Project.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University, where he was also a former vice chairman of the university's board of regents.
In 2007, Gov. Rick Perry appointed him to the Texas Border Security Council, which creates performance standards, reporting requirements, audit methods and other procedures for the Homeland Security Fund.
This is a developing story and additional comments and details will be added as they come available.
Jon Wilcox reports on courts for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached firstname.lastname@example.org or 361-580-6515.
GEORGE WEST – In an illustrious career that has spanned four decades, Live Oak County Sheriff Larry Busby recently received one of the highest awards given to Texas sheriffs.
“The Tom Tellepsen Award is named in honor of the late Tom Tellepsen, a native of Norway, who became a staunch and patriotic American,” according to the Sheriff’s Association of Texas.
“The Tellepsen Foundation, which was created to honor his lifelong support of law enforcement, provides this award.
“The foundation trustees unanimously approved the initial establishment of this award in 1975.
The award consists of a plaque and $2,500 from the Tellepsen family on behalf of the Tellepsen Foundation.
The recognition is highly esteemed by law enforcement, according to the association.
“The Tellepsen Award is the highest of tributes to the sheriff who is selected as its recipient.
“The selection criterion includes the recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of law enforcement and criminal justice and honors more than ability and performance.
“The recipient, who must possess these qualities, must additionally have demonstrated the human element that engraves his/her name in the hearts of all the law enforcement community, and a genuine love of the profession.”
Although he is the longest serving sheriff in Texas currently in office, the award is not given based on one’s longevity in office.
Busby, who began serving as Live Oak County’s sheriff on Jan. 1, 1981, said he was honored to receive the award. “This is a great honor, and I am thankful that my department and I have been recognized,” Busby said. “I’m thankful to be serving in this community.
“This is a once in a lifetime award, and it’s really a reflection of the great people we have working for the Live Oak County Sheriff’s Office.”
Jeff Osborne is the editor of The Progress. He can be reached at 361-786-3022 or email@example.com
GOLIAD – Coastal Bend Crime Stoppers is starting a tri-county – Bee, Goliad and Live Oak – awareness campaign.
The organization’s president, Judy Ranalli, outlined the outreach program to county commissioners June 25. “We want to put signs up on all the county roads,” she said, telling the court her organization needed help in understanding where the signs would be allowed. She also requested a county map showing all its roads.
The proposed signs would be two feet tall by 18 inches wide.
Crime Stoppers personnel would assist in erecting the signs.
Ranalli said once the locations were chosen for the signs, she hoped to have them in place within a month.
She said she also would be coordinating with the City of Goliad as well as the post office to place signs here.
Older signs, already in the county, may not reflect the tri-county emphasis, she said.
“I want to see us grow,” Ranalli explained after her presentation to the court. Many people do not understand that just because Crime Stoppers is based in Bee County, its responsibility covers three counties, not just Bee County.
Crime Stoppers was organized in 2006 in Bee County; it expanded to Goliad and Live Oak counties four years later.
It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization funded by grants, public donations and two annual fundraisers – one in January which coincides with National Crime Week and a baked potato sale in September.
In addition to operating a tip line, coordinated by its law enforcement officer, Mike Showalter, the organization also operates a safe school program by which students can report instances of bullying and a scholarship program for high school seniors.
Crime Stoppers also is becoming active in social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Bill Clough is the Goliad editor at the Advance-Guard Press and can be reached at 361-645-2330, or at goliad@mySouTex.com
NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Porch pirates beware, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed House Bill 37 into law, making it a felony to steal mail and packages from someone’s property.
Now anyone convicted of package theft will face anywhere from 6 months to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. The severity of the punishment depends on how many times a theft was committed and the value of the stolen item/items.
Currently in Texas package theft is prosecuted similar to shoplifting, with a Class C Misdemeanor ticket or a Class B Misdemeanor charge.
Under the new law if a thief steals from less than 10 people they will face a state felony charge; steal from between 20 and 50 people it’s a second-degree felony; and people accused of stealing from more than 50 people will face first-degree felony charges.
The incidents of package theft have risen as more people do their shopping online and opt for home delivery. A survey estimated that more than 25 million Americans had a package stolen from their home during the 2018 holiday season.
State Representative Gene Wu of Houston authored the bill that goes into effect on September 1.
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Vehicle pursuits, drug trafficking, and dead bodies cast out by human smugglers are common occurrences in Refugio County
BY CHARLOTTE CUTHBERTSONDecember 17, 2018 Updated: December 17, 2018
REFUGIO, Texas—An illegal alien must travel through at least five counties beyond the U.S.–Mexico border to reach Refugio, Texas, population around 7,300.
Most illegal aliens nabbed by local law enforcement were on their way to Houston, just 165 miles northeast, said Sheriff Raul “Pinky” Gonzales.
“Houston is like a staging area for them. And from there, some of them go to California, some go to New York, a lot of them go up north to Boston,” he said in an interview on Nov. 8. Vehicle pursuits are a common occurrence in Refugio County, which is just one of 254 counties in the state.
Just that morning, two different groups of illegal aliens were captured. In one instance, a vigilant driver saw a hand sticking out of the bed of a pickup truck and called authorities.
Nine illegal aliens and the smuggler, or “coyote,” were subsequently arrested.
In a second incident on the same morning, a vehicle pursuit from a neighboring county entered Refugio. The chase ended when the vehicle, carrying nine illegal aliens and their coyote, stopped and all 10 tried to flee on foot. Law enforcement scooped them all up.
Gonzales said he also has found the bodies of illegal immigrants dumped by smugglers.
“They put them in trunks in cars, they put them in trucks—where the temperature gets to 130, 120 something degrees—no water, no food, no air. And they die. And they’ll just throw them out on the side of the road,” he said.
On patrol, Sheriff’s Deputy Luis Flores aims for making two vehicle stops per hour—24 in a shift.
With 276 possible traffic violations in Texas, he has a lot to work with. Over several hours, he stopped vehicles that didn’t have a license plate light, or were missing a tail light, or whose plates were partially obscured, as well as drivers who were speeding, and more.
“I look for small violations, which gives probable cause for stopping,” he said. “I have a conversation—see where they’re going and what they’re up to. I look for cues and indications of other activity.”
But his goal isn’t to hand out tickets—most of the time, drivers get a simple warning or citation. The goal is to find the bigger crime—drugs, illegal aliens, warrants out for arrest, and so on.
“I love picking apart people’s stories,” Flores said. He listens for too much or too little detail in their explanations. Flores is ex-military and has spent two years as a deputy in Refugio. One of his most satisfying finds was during a traffic stop of an elderly women driving an old Nissan.
“I felt very victorious when we found $500,000 hidden in her bumper,” he said. “Money is super hard to find—it doesn’t have an odor and it’s easy to hide.”
The deputies patrol alone, but there are usually at least two vehicles out, as well as the local police officer. They back each other up constantly.
Flores said he calls for backup at the first sign of trouble, “ever since a group of aliens that I stopped told me that if my backup didn’t arrive so quickly, they would’ve got in a gun fight with me,” he said.
What the deputies do in Refugio might seem like small potatoes, but considering three of the 19 terrorists involved in 9/11 were pulled over in four separate incidents in the months prior to the terror attacks, a traffic stop could turn into something significant.
Gonzales said that if he wanted to, he could probably round up hundreds of illegal immigrants living in his county, but as a law enforcement officer, he concentrates on illegal activity.
“I don’t care if you come from Mars, if you’re committing a crime here in my state or my county, I’m going to tend to you accordingly,” he said.
On Nov. 8, local Refugio City police officer Tammy Gregory picked up a man for going 50 miles per hour in a 35 zone.
She discovered the man, Jose Carrasco Leon, was from Mexico. He didn’t have a U.S. driver’s license, but had lived in the United States for 16 years and was married to a U.S. citizen.
Gregory said it’s likely the man had not legalized his status, because Border Patrol contacted her to request custody of him once the police had finished processing him.
Gonzales said drug trafficking was common in his county. “We catch a lot of illegals with drugs,” he said. “We caught the cartel No. 2 drug runner here in my county. He was on a train smuggling drugs.”
In May last year, deputies seized 500 pounds of marijuana and a cartel member, after railroad officials noticed three people traveling on a Southern Pacific freight train that had originated at the border.
“They loaded up in Brownsville, heading to Houston. How much of that goes on and how much do we miss?” Gonzales said.
Recently, the sheriff had to deal with the slaying of two of his dogs by illegal aliens trying to evade law enforcement.
The two tracking dogs were trained to find lost children or Alzheimer’s patients, and they would bark once they located the person.
But this time, when the dogs found the group of illegal aliens in the brush and barked to alert the deputies where they were, they were killed.
“They strangled two of our dogs for no reason. These guys that killed these dogs, they could have very well killed one of my deputies or any other law enforcement,” Gonzales said.
“And these are the type of illegals that we deal with. … Not all of them come here in good faith. A lot of them come here to do wrong, get in gangs, and get involved with sex trafficking—they’re not all good.”
Gonzales is all too familiar with illegal activity on the southwest border. Before coming to Refugio County, he spent years as a boat captain on the Rio Grande in Texas—the dividing line between the United States and Mexico.
“We picked up bodies. Like in a week, we’d pick up to 10 bodies,” he said. “A lot of times we’d see kids that had drowned, trying to swim across by themselves. The parents are the ones that sent them by themselves.”
He said he helped a lot of teenage girls and would ask them how they got across, and why they were there without parents.
He was often told, ‘Well, our parents told us to come here.’”
“And they’d tell me horror stories about what they had to go through to come here. They were raped, they were vandalized, a lot of them. They’re used as sex slaves. [The smugglers] bring them across and use them as sex slaves here in the United States,” Gonzales said.
“So a lot of time, these people are victimizing their own people for revenue, for money, and that’s what people don’t understand.”
Gonzales said he would often stop at the grocery store before a shift to buy extra drinks and food for the illegal aliens he would undoubtedly encounter.
“I feel very sorry” for them, he said. “They’re human beings, you know. We’re supposed to love them. But we as law enforcement, we took an oath that we would abide by the law and protect and serve our people.”
He said it’s very hard to do that when you can’t track people who cross illegally and evade law enforcement.
“You know once they blend in with the population, they’re gone,” he said. “They can commit serious crimes, [then] they can just pack up and go back home and we’ll never find them.”
Gonzales said 80 to 90 percent of the illegal aliens he picked up on the river were not from Mexico.
“They were from El Salvador, Honduras, from India, China—we’d catch a lot of Chinese—people from all over the world,” he said. Many said they traveled by boat to Brazil, where they met a smuggler who escorted them through Mexico and to the United States.
“Some people are here to better their lives—and it doesn’t make it right—but not all of them,” he said.
Gonzales said he has caught a lot of gang members, especially MS-13, as well as criminals who had been deported. In one case, two men who had been deported after serving prison sentences were back a week later, illegally, with a group of Hondurans.
“These Hondurans weren’t the type of guys that came to look for work. They were tattooed up, you know. One of them didn’t have an ear, they were just scar-faced. I mean, you could tell they weren’t good hombres,” he said.
Gonzales said he is glad President Donald Trump has enhanced border security and sent active-duty military to help stop illegal crossings.
“We can’t [have] this group of people come and invade our country. This caravan, the majority of them are males—flying their flag,” he said. “To me, that’s intimidating.”
He said he thinks many of the politicians who often side with illegal immigrants are looking for future votes.
“The difference between these [illegal] immigrants coming in now, they’re trying to bring their country into our country,” he said. “We are the United States of America, and I think this oughta be a Christian country the way our forefathers perceived it to be.”
However, Gonzales said the illegal immigrants he catches aren’t as confident as they were during the Obama era.
“When Obama was in office, these illegal immigrants were very cocky with us. They went on about ‘the Dream Act, Obama, the Dream Act,’” he said.
“They were very cocky. Like, ‘hey, we’ve got our rights and we’re going to become citizens because of the Dream Act Obama’s introducing.’”
Gonzales said most Americans don’t understand what law enforcement deals with as far as illegal alien crime.
“It’s very, very hard to do our job,” he said. “We already have thugs that are citizens here, we already have bad people—we don’t need any more.”
“As a sheriff, as a leader in law enforcement, I’m very concerned about my people’s safety. I’d feel horrible if somebody got injured, seriously injured, or killed, because [of]—I don’t care if they’re illegal or not, but especially—an illegal person. They shouldn’t have been here to begin with.”
The sheriff provided a snapshot of what it takes for law enforcement to deal with one vehicle pursuit of an illegal alien.
“It costs a lot of taxpayers’ money chasing these people, [it] costs a lot of man hours. When a county deputy or a DPS state trooper gets on the chase, you get all different law enforcement agencies involved in the chase—you know, we’re trying to back each other up. There could be 12 officers for one chase, for four or five hours. A lot of times, they’ll wreck their vehicles, damage their vehicles,” he said.
“It’s a burden to us, it’s a burden to the people of the United States.”
Follow Charlotte on Twitter: @charlottecuthbo
"The purpose of the CBPOA shall be to promote the cooperation and understanding of all persons involved in the enforcement of laws of the State of Texas and of the United States; the continued and convenient interchange of information and training between various Federal, State and local agencies, and to conduct ourselves in a manner that will gain the respect of those we serve and to constantly strive to improve our position.'
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