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Serving the Coastal Bend and it's Officers Since 1966.
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Serving the Coastal Bend and it's Officers Since 1966.
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Hours before New York State’s order limiting private gatherings took effect on Friday, effectively barring large holiday parties, an upstate sheriff said that he would not enforce it. His office, he said, would never interfere with “the great tradition of Thanksgiving dinner.”
Days later, a sheriff in the Southern Tier region vowed that his deputies would not go “peeking in your window” to count the faces around a table. A third New York sheriff said that entering residents’ homes “to see how many Turkey or Tofu eaters are present is not a priority.”
Even as the daily numbers of new coronavirus cases climb and threaten the state’s progress toward tamping down the spread of infection, a growing number of local sheriffs and other officials say they will not enforce the state’s 10-person cap on gatherings at family homes.
Much of the opposition has come from conservative regions outside New York City, but the reluctance to police Thanksgiving feasts has not been limited to upstate areas or to Republicans. In New York City, officials said they did not anticipate strict enforcement, citing other priorities. And at least one Democratic sheriff upstate said he would not have the resources necessary to do the job.
But conservative local officials and sheriffs have so far issued the fiercest rebukes of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s order, which was announced last week. Their open refusals to enforce the ban reflect a national pattern of conservative officials criticizing restrictions meant to keep the virus at bay, orders that opponents denounce as violations of civil liberties.
“It is unenforceable,” said Steve McLaughlin, a Republican who is the Rensselaer County executive and a frequent critic of Mr. Cuomo. The county’s sheriff has said he would not enforce the order. “And I believe it’s unconstitutional as does pretty much every sheriff I’ve spoken to.”
Since the pandemic first swept across the United States in the spring, President Trump has encouraged protests against social distancing regulations and mask requirements. Influential conservative groups have also taken up the cause, and last week, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. told a prominent conservative legal group that the pandemic had brought “previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty.”
The backlash against such regulations has intensified in recent weeks as cases soar across the country, setting off a wave of new restrictions that are meant to stem the virus’s spread. The United States is now reporting more than 150,000 new cases a day on average.
New York, which was among the hardest hit places in America in the spring, has seen infections and hospitalizations rise, although the increases have been slighter than those in many other states.
On Tuesday, New York officials said the seven-day average rate of positive test results was 2.88 percent, and that 2,124 people were hospitalized, well below the 18,000 figure the state reached during several days in April.
Even so, Mr. Cuomo has said for weeks that New York could only forestall the national trend and fend off a much-feared second wave of the virus if residents continued to adhere to social distancing restrictions.
Under an executive order that took effect late Friday, indoor and outdoor gatherings at private homes were limited to 10 people aside from residents. Mr. Cuomo said the rule was intended to target house parties, which the state’s contact tracers have found to be a significant source of new infections.
New York is not the only state to impose such a restriction leading up to Thanksgiving. New Jersey and Connecticut have issued similar rules; Michigan has banned indoor gatherings of more than two households; and Vermont and Washington State barred indoor gatherings outside of immediate households. Several cities and towns, including Philadelphia and Chicago, have also enacted gathering limits.
New York’s rule is also in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says the safest way to have a Thanksgiving gathering is to keep it limited to one’s household.
Mr. Cuomo’s order drew criticism almost immediately from New York residents who worried officers would be counting cars in driveways or otherwise disrupting holiday plans. In his announcement, the governor said only that local governments would be responsible for enforcing the rule.
On Friday morning, it became clear that Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, would not have the statewide cooperation he sought when the sheriff of Erie County, which includes Buffalo and its suburbs, said he would not enforce the gathering limit.“This national holiday has created longstanding family traditions that are at the heart of America, and these traditions should not be stopped or interrupted by Governor Cuomo’s mandates,” the sheriff, Timothy B. Howard, a Republican, said.
The next day, he was joined by Sheriff Richard Giardino of Fulton County, which is northwest of Albany. In a forceful denunciation that he posted on Facebook, Sheriff Giardino, a Republican, questioned the constitutionality of Mr. Cuomo’s order, adding that he could not “in good faith” defend it.
“Don’t feel a need to hide cars, cover with leaves or walk 3 blocks so your house doesn’t become a target of the Governors EO,” he said.
The sheriffs in Rensselaer, Steuben and Saratoga counties also released statements saying they would not enforce the limit. In Rensselaer County, Sheriff Patrick Russo, a Republican, said his office did not have the resources needed to check on Thanksgiving gatherings or to wait for the search warrants that would be required to enter homes.
Sheriff Craig Apple of Albany County, a Democrat, shared that concern. He said that his office would enforce the order if a complaint were called in, but he added that he did not anticipate having enough deputies to strictly or effectively enforce the rule.
“I’m actually kind of hopeful that most people will just do the right thing and keep the gatherings below 10,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.
Mr. Cuomo’s office dismissed the sheriffs’ criticism as politically motivated.
“Politicians acting like politicians and ignoring what the actual experts say has been fueling the spread of this virus,” Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Mr. Cuomo, said on Tuesday.
Mr. Azzopardi added that the governor’s office expected most New Yorkers to comply with the order, as they had with previous restrictions. Widespread compliance rather than enforcement was the key to any of the state’s rules being effective, he said.
“I think New Yorkers get the message,” he said. “It’s common sense.”
Still, Sheriff Apple of Albany County said he worried that the mounting backlash among the state’s sheriffs might encourage residents to further flout pandemic rules and regulations.
“I would have much preferred they said nothing,” he said of other sheriffs. “Because there’s nothing wrong with people fearful of the police coming to your house if that’s what’s going to keep you from having 30 people over at a super-spreader event.”
In New York City, officials also said they were counting on residents to comply with the cap on private gatherings. “When it comes down to individual families, we’re not going to enforce on family gatherings,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. “We will on bigger gatherings.”
The police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea, said in a television interview that the Police Department was “not planning on breaking up Thanksgiving celebrations.” (The department has not taken the lead in enforcing virus-related restrictions in the city since May after accusations of racial bias in enforcement.)
Joseph Fucito, the city’s sheriff, said his office would be more focused on large-scale events and businesses.
On Long Island, the Suffolk County Police Department said in a statement that it would enforce the governor’s restrictions. The county executive, Steve Bellone, said there would be extra police patrols on the holiday. “The public, they do alert the police to places where there are large gatherings happening,” Mr. Bellone, a Democrat, said. “And we will be responding.”
Michael Gold is a general assignment reporter on the Metro desk covering news in the New York City region. @migold
Your agency can receive training to help combat child sex trafficking. For more information, please contact Minta Moore at:
New Life Refuge Ministries
PO Box 9157
Corpus Christi, TX · 78469
Phone: (361) 946 - 6331 | Fax: (361) 888 - 8895
Justin Marr was sworn into office as interim Victoria County sheriff on Monday.
As the top law enforcement official in Victoria County, the sheriff is also a “central figure in our entire region in the law enforcement community,” said County Judge Ben Zeller. Victoria County commissioners unanimously voted to appoint Marr as interim sheriff during their meeting Monday morning.
Marr was sworn in during a short ceremony at DeLeon Plaza on Monday afternoon. A crowd of about 200 people that included government leaders, law enforcement officials and county residents attended the ceremony.
“There are few elected positions in Texas more important than that of a county sheriff, especially in the times that we’re living in,” Zeller said before swearing in Marr.
Marr, a career Victoria County sheriff’s office employee with two decades of experience, beat opponent Dale Fowler after receiving about 66% of the votes in the primary runoff election on July 14.
Marr said Monday he appreciated the support he’s received that has helped get him to the office.
“You people are the ones that put me here,” he told the crowd.
It’s a challenging time for Marr to step into office, Zeller said, given the ongoing challenges including COVID-19, struggles with recruitment and retention, unsettled times and a “disturbing disrespect that you see in today’s culture for men and women in uniform.”
“But I’ll tell you this,” Zeller said, “it’s in these times when his leadership and his experience will be the most important and the most valuable.”
With a “great team at the sheriff’s office,” Marr said he was up for the challenge.
“I look forward to continuing to lead them in this capacity and take those challenges that the judge talked about head on,” he said.
Marr will be the Republican nominee for sheriff on the November ballot. He remains unopposed. His elected term as sheriff would begin Jan. 1.
Marr was appointed as interim sheriff to fill the vacancy left by former Sheriff T. Michael O’Connor, who resigned from the sheriff’s office to accept a nomination from President Donald Trump as the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Texas.
Since then, O’Connor’s chief deputy, Roy Boyd, has served as interim leader of the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office. Boyd resigned from the position prior to Marr’s swearing-in ceremony.
San Patricio County S.O. is teaming up with Jim Wells, Bee & Refugio Counties on a Loose Livestock & Fence Damage program. These other counties have an active program in place that is aimed to help ranchers with animals that come loose. The program will be promoted through the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Association and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. They will start promoting the program soon with meetings at various locations. They plan to assign a deputy to manage the program & check on these ranches & extend the program to farmers as well. There is NO cost to Rancher or Farmer & San Patricio S.O. will provide the plate & registration.
Our new member dues are some of the most affordable of any law enforcement organization anywhere.
Only $5.00 to renew every year? You can't beat a deal like this.
Charity Franco, Secretary/Treasurer
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our May 2020 meeting, originally scheduled to be hosted by Victoria S.O. has been cancelled. Keep up for future updates on the next meeting.
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.
Do you know who any of these CBPOA members are? Click on the "OUR DIRECTORS/HISTORY" tab to find out more.
"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
"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.'
The Coastal Bend Peace Officers Association is responsible for awarding thousands of dollars of scholarship money each year to qualified and responsible sons and daughters of CBPOA members who wish to carry on the tradition of law enforcement and law enforcement related fields.
Whether you help through provide meeting locations, volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of members like you.
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