Around the State

Jimmy Willborn honored as one of CLEAT’s founding ‘giants’

The CLEAT staff at the dedication ceremony

The dedication ceremony for Jimmy Willborn on the CLEAT Founders’ Wall

As a young San Antonio police officer with a sense of justice and a willingness to gamble everything for a cause he believed in, Jimmy Willborn joined the walkout of the 1976 TMPA convention that led to the creation of CLEAT.

And over the years he helped build what started out as a small band of police officers badly in need representation into what is now the largest law enforcement association in Texas. He even put up his own home as collateral so that CLEAT could have a headquarters in Austin.

“It’s cliche-sounding but it’s true that our members  today stand on the shoulders of giants,” CLEAT President Todd Harrison said this week in the lobby of the headquarters building that Willborn risked his house to secure. “And one of those giants is Jimmy Willborn.” Read More »

Posted by August 4, 2015

CLEAT calls for Judge Case to resign

Today, the state’s largest law enforcement organization, called on Judge Kelly Case to resign immediately from the 9th District Court of Montgomery County. CLEAT, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas is the state affiliate of the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Association.

“Judges who side with criminals or even worse with child predators are not fit to sit on the bench,” stated Charley Wilkison, CLEAT’s Executive Director.  “That is not justice and he is not fit to be a judge,” he stated.

Earlier this week, Judge Kelly Case allowed a dangerous, sexual predator to be freed from an indictment after declaring that the entire online solicitation of a minor statute violated the First Amendment. Read More »

Posted by July 31, 2015

CLEAT gets ‘solidarity’ award for killing anti-union bill




CLEAT was recognized last week for its successful efforts to help defeat legislation that would have destroyed the legal-defense payroll deduction of teachers and other public workers in Texas.

Although the bill exempted law enforcement, CLEAT took a hard-line position against the measure.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Texas AFL CIO,” said CLEAT President Todd Harrison. “CLEAT is a bipartisan organization and we value our relationships with other organizations that represent Texas working folks.”

Accepting the Award for “Solidarity” from the Texas AFL-CIO was CLEAT Executive Director Charley Wilkison,  center in the photo above. At left is newly elected president John Patrick and outgoing President Becky Moeller is at the right.

Posted by July 28, 2015

CLEAT President Harrison elected NAPO recording secretary

NAPO officers

CLEAT President Todd Harrison’s name was placed in nomination for Recording Secretary of the National Association of Police Organizations by Pat Lynch, President of the New York City Police Benevolent Association, during NAPO’s convention last week.

His opponent, Frederick Frazier of the Dallas Police Association, was nominated by his own association in Dallas. He was supported by Houston Police Officers Union.

When all votes were counted at the NAPO Convention in Savannah, Ga., Officer Frazier received 9,000 votes nationally. However, Harrison received 110,569, making him the winner in a landslide.

“It was my great honor to be elected as the NAPO recording secretary during our convention,” Harrison said. “I am deeply humbled by the overwhelming nationwide support I received.”

Here are all of the new NAPO officers pictured above from left:

Mark Young of the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association, vice president of at-large members

Marc Kovar of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, sergeant at arms

Sean Smoot of the Police Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois, treasurer

Tammy Stokes, Chief Judge Chatham County, Georgia, Recorder’s Court  (administered the oath)

Michael McHale of the Florida Police Benevolent Association, president

Todd Harrison, president of CLEAT, recording secretary

John Flynn of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of New York City, executive vice president

Posted by July 27, 2015

CLEAT hosts breakfast for TASRO Conference in Dallas


CLEAT Field Services Representative Janet Cole and Brandon Watson of California Casualty took part in the Texas Association of School Resource Officers’ annual conference in Dallas.

They were joined  TASRO board members Sarah Turowski and David Ellis.  Both are CLEAT members as well. CLEAT and California Casualty provided breakfast for the conference.

Sarah Turowski, a CLEAT member from the Georgetown Police Department, is a newly elected TASRO board member. Read More »

Posted by July 20, 2015

Hot off the press: Double-feature edition of the Texas Police Star

The latest 24-page edition of the Teas Police Star is packed with reports about CLEAT’s legal victories on behalf of officers all across the state, a recap of our lobbying efforts held the line again an all-out assault on police in the Capitol and  our efforts to groom new leaders of local association.

Plus, you’ll see comprehensive coverage of the record participation in this year’s Ride for the Fallen and moving tributes during the Peace Officers’ Memorial observance. It’s a hefty package, so we’re uploading in two sections. Just follow the links below.

Texas Police Star, Pages 1-12
Texas Police Star Pages 12-24

Posted by July 20, 2015

CLEAT extends condolences to family of fallen officer

Thin_Blue_Line.svgAUSTIN-CLEAT, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, officials are extending deepest condolences to family, friends and coworkers of Timothy Davison, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice corrections officer killed in the line of duty yesterday at an East Texas unit in New Boston.

CLEAT’s Executive Director, Charley Wilkison, who is there this morning, expressed concern for prison guards’ safety in general as well as the alarming rate of officer killed this year. To date, eight Texas peace officers have died in the line of duty. Texas also leads the nation in fallen officers. Read More »

Posted by July 16, 2015

New retiree member’s career dates back to the early ’50s

George Phifer and his wife, Johnnie.

George Phifer and his wife, Johnnie.

George Phifer has been connected to law enforcement for 62 years, and this week he strengthened that connection.

Phifer, who became an Austin police patrol officer in 1953 and retired as acting chief 39 years later, stopped by the CLEAT office on Monday to join the CLEAT Retiree Association.

Here’s a brief summary of his career: APD Patrol 1953-1956; Detective Sergeant 1956-1961; attended FBI Academy 1961; APD Captain 1961-1970; Assistant Chief 1970-1992; and finally Acting Chief 1992, the same year he retired.

Posted by July 14, 2015

CLEAT demands justice for Chief Deputy Constable ‘Popeye’ Holmes

Popeye newser

CLEAT’s Tom Barbee, left, Melinda Smith and Charley Wilkison at the news conference for “Popeye” Holmes’ family.

BEAUMONT, Texas – CLEAT today called on Jefferson County Constable Eddie Collins and the county’s Commissioners Court to correct the injustice they have perpetrated against a legendary Texas peace officer who was killed in the line of duty.

Martin J. “Popeye” Holmes, whose law enforcement career spanned 57 years, was Collins’ chief deputy when he suffered severe injuries from a fall while serving an eviction notice in August 2012. Those injuries claimed his life a year later.


“Popeye” Holmes

Collins failed to properly investigate the events surrounding Chief Deputy Holmes’ fall, and the county has refused to acknowledge that his injuries and death were suffered in the line of duty. Instead, they are fighting the effort by Chief Deputy Holmes’ widow to claim the benefits they owe for her husband’s service. Read More »

Posted by July 13, 2015

CLEAT shows its appreciation for recruiting efforts in Harris County

harris dinner

CLEAT hosted a dinner last week to honor members who participated in a two-month recruiting effort in Harris County.  During the months of April and May, 12 members recruited 156 new CLEAT and Sheriffs Employees of Harris County members.

The effort was led by SEOHC board member Francene Blunt.

Attending the dinner from SEOHC were President, Ben Leal, Vice President-Joe Lasater, Secretary-Francene Blunt, Treasurer Patrick Lorenz and member Ms. Jordan. Attending from CLEAT were Vice President Matt Novosad, Staff Attorney Bob Thomas, Field Services Rep Janet Cole and legal assistant Jeanette Chamberlin.

Posted by July 7, 2015