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Serving the Coastal Bend and it's Officers Since 1966.
Alexandria Rodriguez, Corpus Christi Caller Times
Edward Ogdee clutched his walker with both hands and leaned in to listen to Nueces County Sheriff J.C. Hooper.
"I would like to ask you today to be a deputy, an honorary deputy of the Nueces County Sheriff's Office," Hooper said, as he shook the 93-year-old's hand. "Do you accept that?"
He did. And he did it with a slight, proud smile as his family cheered him on Wednesday morning.
Hooper and several sheriff's office deputies brought their patrol cars to Elan Corpus Christi Assisted Living & Memory Care Community, where Ogdee lives.
The deputies took time out of their busy days and came into city limits to show their appreciation to their fellow law enforcement brother, Lt. Roland Martinez said.
Ogdee was a law enforcement officer for three decades in South Texas. He was elected sheriff of Brooks County from 1976 to 1981. Ogdee then served as a law enforcement officer in Falfurrias.
The assisted living home's event, called "Miracle Moment," celebrates the special times in the residents' lives. For Ogdee, it was being a public servant.
So when he sat in a Nueces County Sheriff's Office patrol pickup, the memories of his days keeping the community safe came rushing back.
"I used to wear a big black Stetson. I used to wear it all the time," Odgee said as he sat in the passenger seat of the pickup.
Martinez drove Ogdee around town for most of the morning into the afternoon. The two talked about radar, traffic stops and the patrol pickup.
The two even shared a laugh at Ogdee's dislike of traffic stops.
As they drove around, Ogdee's family was invited to sit in the back of the patrol pickup with him.
That moment was priceless to Ogdee's grandson.
"It brought back memories of when I was little. I used to ride around with him in Falfurrias," DJ Palmore said. "I hope it reminds him of the many years of great service he did for the town of Falfurrias and Brooks County, and I hope he remembers this day for the rest of his life."
As Ogdee took another drive with Martinez in Corpus Christi, he looked at the passing streets, trees and vehicles and nodded in silence. He looked at Martinez and the laptop inside the pickup before he spoke for the first time in a while.
"This is very nice," he said. "Very nice."
After a career as Sheriff of San Patricio County, Texas, Sheriff Leroy Moody has announced his retirement effective March 31, 2019. On behalf of ALL of the directors and members of the Coastal Bend Peace Officers Association, we wish Sheriff Moody a happy and fulfilling retirement. Sheriff, we look forward to seeing you at all of our future meetings. Thank you for your many years of dedication to law enforcement and to the residents of San Patricio County, Texas.
"Today, I announced that after almost 54 years of service with the San Patricio County Sheriff’s Department I will be retiring on March 31, 2019. With the support of my family I have been truly blessed to serve all these years in a job I love. Thank you to all the men and women of the San Patricio County Sheriff’s Department for your loyalty and dedication and to the citizens of San Patricio County thank you for all the years of support. This has been great ride, but I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and enjoying my retirement. God Bless You All!"
The Municipal Court is providing an opportunity for all individuals with outstanding warrants to responsibly clear their cases. We are a SAFE HARBOR Court and people will not get arrested if they appear. We offer a variety of payment options to help you out.
Municipal Court officials strongly encourage people with warrants to come in and pay their fines.
Come see us at:
120 N. Chaparral Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
Inside the main Police Department building, on the first and second floors, at the corner of Chaparral St. and John Sartain St.
To find out more about your warrant(s), click on the link below.
How do you handle communication issues when facing deaf and hard of hearing citizens? DEAF Inc., with collaboration with St. Louis County Police Academy, created a training video for police officers and other responders. Special thanks goes to St. Louis University for providing intern and sound support for this project.
The estimated number of law enforcement officers who died by suicide outnumbered those who died in the line of duty for the third straight year in 2018, a newly released study shows.
According to the organization, at least 159 officers took their own lives in 2018 — the same number of suicide fatalities it tracked in 2017 and 19 more than in 2016.
By contrast, the estimated number of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty last year was 145, according to an annual report released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
In December alone, 20 officers died by suicide, whereas only 10 line-of-duty deaths were reported.
“The single greatest cause of death for law enforcement officers each year is suicide,” said Jeff McGill, vice president of Blue H.E.L.P.
The suicide fatalities include 151 men and eight women. The average age was 41, with an average length of service of 15 years.
Four states – California, Florida, New York, and Texas – had the highest number of officer suicides, with each state reporting at least 10 fatalities in 2018.
Because the federal government does not mandate the reporting of officer suicides, Blue H.E.L.P. must obtain and verify raw data from a number of sources, including individual law enforcement agencies and surviving family members.
“We know there are other tragic deaths by suicide that we don’t know about,” said Steven Hough, co-founder of Blue H.E.L.P. “So as bad a number as we have this year, we’re saddened by the fact that we know in reality the number is higher.”
According to experts, law enforcement officers die by suicide at a higher rate than those in other occupations, aside from the military. Common threads between suicides have been cited, including pressures of the job.
The Ruderman Family Foundation, a philanthropic institution, also found that first responders die by suicide at a higher rate than people in the general population, according to an April 2018 report.
Blue H.E.L.P. advocates for increased availability of mental health resources for law enforcement. The organization also seeks to normalize the treatment of post-traumatic stress symptoms.
“There is very little money being spent to reduce the numbers of officer suicides,” said Karen Solomon, president and co-founder of Blue H.E.L.P. “We hope that by raising awareness about the scope of this problem — and shining a light on the need for increased mental health resources directed to officers approaching crisis — we can ultimately reduce the number of officers who die by suicide.”
The organization said the number of deaths could change as it tabulates incidents from the end of the year.
As for 2019, on New Year’s Day at least one officer has already reportedly died by suicide.
“Taking a real stance on officer safety will require us to address the elephant in the room,” Solomon said. “Addressing officer wellness which includes spiritual, mental, social, and physical health should be the number one priority for each agency head in 2019.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.
Goliad County will be among law enforcement agencies across Texas participating in this year’s Warrant Round-Up. Local law enforcement will join other regional participants in this annual event to locate individuals with outstanding warrants.
The Round-Up is scheduled to begin Friday, March 2.
County Law Enforcement officials are encouraging individuals with warrants to contact the appropriate court to resolve their cases voluntarily.
Warrants for failure to appear are issued by the Justice of the Peace court. They can be reached as follows:
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1 – Judge Susan Moore – 361-645-3663
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1 – Judge Steven Kennedy – 361-645-3320
Under Texas Law, individuals who appear before a court and make a good faith effort to resolve their outstanding Class C Warrants are afforded safe harbor and not subject to arrest. Additionally, if a judgment is rendered against an individual who is unable to pay the judgment, the individual may request a judge assess their ability to pay and offer alternative means to satisfy the judgment.
Once the arrest period begins, officers will aggressively seek out wanted individuals. Arrests can take place at any location, including the defendant’s home, school or workplace.
For more information about warrants defendants must contact the appropriate court.
Warrants for failure to appear are issued by the Justice of the Peace court. They can be reached as follows:
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1 – Judge Susan Moore – 361-645-3663
Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1 – Judge Steven Kennedy – 361-645-3320
ONE OF THE joys of Touch ID is how seamlessly it works. It rarely takes more than an instant to unlock your iPhone or approve a purchase. But recently a handful of scam apps have turned that ease of use against anyone unlucky enough to download them.
In separately reported incidents, apps posing as health assistants invite users to use Touch ID before they show a calorie tracker, or take a heart rate measurement, or some other seemingly legitimate function. Once you scan your fingerprint, though, the apps briefly show an in-app purchase popup instead, charging anywhere from $90 to $120, and simultaneously dim the screen to make it hard to see the prompt. In some cases, even if you decline to use Touch ID to enable a feature, the app asks you to tap to continue—and try the in-app payment scam instead.
Charging exorbitant, unscrupulous fees within apps violates Apple’s App Store guidelines; the apps in question, innocuously named “Heart Rate Monitor,” “Fitness Balance app,” and “Calories Tracker app,” have all been pulled. It’s unclear if they came from separate developers, or one person operating multiple developer accounts. Either way, to pull off the scam they all rely not on malware but on duplicity—and an insight into how we use Touch ID.
“As soon as you put your finger on there, it starts scanning, so it’s ready and acting very quickly,” says Stephen Cobb, senior security researcher at cybersecurity firm ESET, which wrote about two of the bogus apps Monday. “Someone cleverly figured out they could use the way that’s implemented to get people to do things that they don’t want to do.”
Touch ID has long been used for more than just unlocking your iPhone, after all. You use it for Apple Pay and for authentication on various apps. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it works, which means you’re less likely to give much thought to using it when an app asks you
to. And when you do put your finger on the home button, there’s no extra prompt to confirm that you actually meant to.
Cobb compares the scenario to the early days of QR codes, when scanners had no built-in mechanisms to verify where that square of black squiggles would send you. “This is exactly the same thing,” he says. “This great idea for a novel form of input, your fingerprint, has been enabled in a wide range of programs. The fact that there’s no confirmation step involved in the way that this input is set up enables you to bypass user confirmation.”
It’s unclear how many people actually lost money to the scams, although a recent Reddit thread indicates that a least a few have. More troubling, though, is the grift’s reproducibility. The App Store’s initial vetting may be thorough, but bad actors still find ways around it, especially after they get that initial approval.
“Rogue apps are a problem for both iOS and Android, although they tend to be less prevalent for the former due to a more locked down ecosystem,” says Jérôme Segura, head of threat intelligence at cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes. “However, crooks will often come up with clever ideas to bypass initial screening mechanisms. Over time, they will push out updates to the app and adjust in-app purchases, where most of the problems and abuses lay.”
The good news is that anyone with an iPhone X or later won’t get caught up in the fraud, since those devices don’t have a home button to begin with. To use Apple Pay with Face ID, you need to double-click the side button on those devices.
That doesn’t help for older iPhones, though, of which there are plenty still in use. The best anyone with an iPhone 8 or earlier can do is stay vigilant, and only use Touch ID on apps they have reason to trust. Apple, too, could help reduce the likelihood of this type of scam with more stringent ongoing reviews of apps, or by introducing some sort of extra confirmation mechanism to Touch ID, although either of those would create their own frustrations. Which, unless the scale of these cams increases dramatically, may not make sense for Cupertino, especially with Touch ID being gradually phased out as of last year. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
“Once again, convenience and ease of use brought by new technologies come back to haunt us,” Segura says. “While validating payments with the touch of a finger is a seamless experience, it can unfortunately be abused by scammers just as easily.”
Author: Rudy Trevino
Published: 6:40 PM CST January 29, 2019
Updated: 12:16 PM CST January 30, 2019
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — After working in the Corpus Christi Police Department's homicide division for the better part of his 43 years of service, Sgt. R.L. Garcia is saying goodbye to the force.
Most people know him as R.L. -- short for Richard L. Garcia -- and he's made quite a name for himself as one of the premier solvers of homicides in Corpus Christi, Texas.
"I have put in some pretty bad people," Garcia said. "We have had several people that have been on death row from the crimes they've committed."
However, for Garcia what's more important are the lives that he has saved.
When his career began in the 70s, he was patrolling the downtown and North Beach areas and was eventually known as a "rescuer of people."
"I became known as 'Harbor Bridge Garcia' there for a while," Garcia said.
At the time, Garcia stopped many people from committing suicide on the Harbor Bridge.
"During those years there was a lot of jumpers going down there," Garcia said. "For whatever reason, the Harbor Bridge was like a magnet, and I believe during the time that I worked down there I must have gotten between eight and 10 people off the Harbor Bridge."
Soon after he was promoted to the criminal investigation division where he has worked to this day, solving some of the most heinous crimes.
"Man can be evil, and sometimes it may even be a step beyond evil," Garcia said.
Humbly crediting his fellow investigators and officers, Garcia sang his praised to the citizens for helping them put bad guys away.
"A police officer cannot do his job just by himself. He needs to be able to communicate and get information from the individual on the street and the police officers," Garcia said. "You have to be able to relate and get information from who you want to get information from. The citizens of Corpus Christi sometimes are the ones that make the crime be solved."
Garcia has testified in court in countless criminal cases, conducted thousands of investigations, and solved just as many crimes; but at the end of the day Tuesday, his duty as a police officer will be over.
"I'm going to try and take it easy, do some of the things I haven't done and just try to relax a little bit for a little while," Garcia said.
January 1, 2019
More police officers were killed in the line of duty by firearms during 2018 than during any other year in the past two decades. A total of 144 officers died this year, a 12 percent increase over the previous one, with 52 of those individuals killed in shootings, according to the Boston Herald.
The non-profit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund tracks the number of officers killed each year. According to this year’s report, 134 men and 10 women were killed in the line of duty, with the average age of 41. Last year, their annual report revealed that 129 people were killed in federal, state, local, territorial and tribal departments. That was a steep drop from 2016’s 159 fatalities.
Craig W. Floyd, CEO of the memorial fund, noted that the increase was a discouraging shift after last year’s improvement.
“The rising number of law enforcement officer deaths in 2018 is disappointing news after a decline in 2017,” he said. “Sadly, this reminds us that public safety is a dangerous job and can come at a very steep price.”
Even more discouraging is the number of officers killed by firearms, which reached its highest number in two decades. During 2017, the leading cause of death was traffic fatalities, but in 2018, 52 people were killed by guns. Of those, two-thirds were killed by a handgun and four were killed by their own weapons after being disarmed."
Yarmouth, Massachusettes police Chief Frank Frederickson said that they have felt the impact of these deaths first-hand. The state lost two officers last year to gun violence.
“Statistics don’t lie. We have obviously become very aware of the increase in violence and more so when it strikes you as one of your own, you see the spiderweb of damage that continues,” Frederickson said. “It’s one thing to read about it when it happens far away but when you see it firsthand, it’s pretty amazing how much this impacts so many people.”
Vehicle-related injuries were the second cause of officer deaths in 2018, with 50 people injured in motorcycle and car accidents. Thirty-two of those involved another vehicle, while 14 officers were struck while standing outside of their own vehicle. The rest of the fatalities were made up of heart attacks, strokes, drownings, cancer, and other illnesses related to officers who served in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Texas, Florida, New York, and California tied for the most fatalities, with 11 officers killed in each state.
Do you know who any of these CBPOA members are? Click on the "OUR DIRECTORS/HISTORY" tab to find out more.
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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