Around the State

Temple Police Association petitions the city for meet-and-confer

Chris Jones , TPA President Larry Wilkey, Nadia Stewart and TPA Secretary Daniel Vela.

From Left: Chris Jones , TPA President Larry Wilkey, Nadia Stewart, TPA Secretary Daniel Vela.

The Temple Police Association has presented city officials with a representation petition signed by 102 Temple police officers for meet-and-confer rights.

The signatures on the notarized document that was submitted last week represented about 70 percent of the officers in the department.

The ball is now in the court of the Temple City Council to approve a meet-and-confer arrangement with the local that’s affiliated with CLEAT. Read More »

Posted by July 6, 2015

Retiree Association board reaching out for new members

retiree board

Bill Banfield, Mike Giarraputo and Pete Elizalde

The newly formed CLEAT Retiree Association continues to grow and the three-member board left Austin after meeting on Tuesday ready to spread the word among their fellow retired officers in Texas.

Board President Mike Giarraputo, a Mesquite PD retiree, along with Vice President Bill Banfield and Secretary Pete Elizalde — both San Antonio retirees, said the new association give former officers a way to stay connected.

All three have long associations with their local unions and with CLEAT during their active-duty careers. Until Elizalde’s retirement early this year, he was a member of the CLEAT Executive Board. Giarraputo also served on the Executive Board.

Posted by July 1, 2015

San Angelo Police Sgt. Korby Kennedy is laid to rest

korby-kennedy

SAN ANGELO — Sgt. Korby Kennedy, the longtime president of the San Angelo Coalition of Police and CLEAT member, was laid to rest Monday in the city he served for 20 years.

“Citizens of San Angelo, you have lost a great police officer,” said SAPD Chief Tim Vasquez at the services attended by Kennedy’s fellow officers, family and friends and several representatives of CLEAT.

Kennedy died in line of duty on Thursday when a vehicle crashed into his motorcycle.

An 100 official vehicles from several law enforcement agencies and 20 fire trucks from area fire departments took part in the funeral procession. Kennedy’s call number, 160, was retired in his honor. Read More »

Posted by June 29, 2015

La Marque negotiates pay raises, increased TMRS contributions

Sgt. Gilberto Rodriguez, Sgt. Richard Garcia, Councilman Chris Lane, City Manager Carol Buttler, Officer Julea Hawthorne, Field Services Coordinator Tom Barbee and Region 6 Director Forrest Gandy.

Sgt. Gilberto Rodriguez, Sgt. Richard Garcia, Councilman Chris Lane, City Manager Carol Buttler, Officer Julea Hawthorne, Field Services Coordinator Tom Barbee and Region 6 Director Forrest Gandy.

When leaders of the La Marque Police Association prepared to open contract talks with the city this week, they were expecting a difficult road ahead.

That’s not what they got.

In fact, association leaders were surprised to find that a city bargaining team comprised of the City Manager, City Attorney, City Financial Officer and the entire City Council on the other side of the table when they met on Monday, said CLEAT Field Services Coordinator and Lead Negotiator Tom Barbee. Read More »

Posted by June 24, 2015

CLEAT’s training program preparing officers for today’s realities

CLEAT Training prepares officers for today's challenges.

CLEAT Training prepares officers for today’s challenges.

By Chris Jones
Training Coordinator
Ferguson, the Bronx, Baltimore, and most recently, McKinney.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that officers are under more scrutiny today than ever before.

CLEAT was in the middle of the body camera debate during the recent legislative session and worked hard to ensure that the legislation included reasonable protections for officers.  We also beat back attempts to pass a number of bad bills. These bills were reactionary responses to the events of the day and blatantly impugned the integrity of the vast majority of officers who do a professional job for their communities every day.

Besides providing the best legal defense to officers in the state, we are also working hard to prepare officers for what they may face during use of force incidents.

CLEAT has had a longstanding training partnership with Calibre Press.  Calibre Press has continuously expanded and updated its course material, including a new course called “Anatomy of Force Incidents”.  This evidence based course looks at all aspects of use of force incidents, including current case law, civil liability, use of force continuums, report writing, decisions under stress, physiological responses, and the aftermath of a critical incidents. Read More »

Posted by June 23, 2015

Leadership Academy hears warning from law enforcement experts

Dr. Brian Vila on Sleep Deprivation and Officer Safety.

Dr. Brian Vila on Sleep Deprivation and Officer Safety.

If American soil is hit by an international terrorist organization, uniformed police officers are going to be among the first targets, and likely will not have had access to the operational intelligence that could have saved their lives.

That was the word from renowned counterterrorism expert Fred Burton, who was among several speakers at the 2015 CLEAT Leadership Academy, which wrapped up on Friday.

“The people who need the most tactical information (in the event of an attack) is you, and you don’t get,” said Burton, a vice president of the security consultant company, Stratfor, and a former deputy chief of counterterrorism at the Diplomatic Security Service.

Burton used the deadly Charlie Hebdo attack this year in Paris as the model that should guide U.S. counterterrorism operatives. Uniformed officers inside the magazine’s officers were among the first gunned down when the satirical French publication came under fire, he said. Read More »

Posted by June 12, 2015

11 Texas students awarded POMF college scholarships

The Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation has awarded 11 scholarships to children of Texas law enforcement officers to assist with the cost of paying for college.

The students submitted letters explaining why they were applying for one of the scholarships distributed annually by the POMF along with resumes containing their high school accomplishments and letters from mentors or teachers attesting to their good character.

All of the students held down high school jobs – either for pay or as community volunteers – while maintaining rigorous class schedules and demanding extracurricular activities.

One even found time to take on a role in a hit movie filmed in Texas and a role in an Emmy Award winning television series also shot in Austin. Read More »

Posted by June 9, 2015

CLEAT’s Arredondo and Chance pitch in to help officers affected by flooding

San Marcos floods flooding

During the torrential flooding that swamped much of Central Texas in late May, several members of the San Marcos Police Department and Hays County Sheriff’s Office became victims of the storms while they were out serving their communities.

That’s why Tracy Chance and Danny Arredondo of CLEAT’s Field Services Division decided to pitch in and help the officers and their families with the cleanup effort over the weekend.

“God bless my brothers and sisters at SMPOA and HCLEA,” Arredondo said. “A thank you to members of KPA and surrounding Public Safety organizations that came out to help.”

Posted by June 1, 2015

Novosad committed to keeping CLEAT Legal Division strong

Matt Novosad at the Texas Capitol.

Matt Novosad at the Texas Capitol.

The time for a police officer to make sure he has top-flight legal representation, says CLEAT Vice President Matt Novosad, is long before he ever needs it.

Novosad, a patrol officer with the La Porte Police Department and president of the local police association, recalls an off-the-cuff conversation he had recently with an officer from another department.

“He goes, ‘I wish I’d have had a CLEAT attorney when I filed my worker’s comp claim,’” Novosad recalled.

The other officer realized too late that his case would have had a better outcome if he had had better representation, Novosad said.

Novosad chairs the Legal Affairs Committee of the CLEAT Board of Directors. And part of his job there is to ensure that CLEAT is living up to its commitment to have a lawyer on the scene of a critical incident within two hours. Read More »

Posted by May 20, 2015

Gun violence in motorcycle gangs rare, CLEAT president says

Todd Harrison

Todd Harrison

CLEAT President Todd Harrison offered unique perspective in a nationally circulated newspaper and in a National Public Radio affiliate regarding last weekend’s deadly shootings in Waco.

Harrison provided some history on motorcycle gangs in Texas and how their influence has expanded beyond the state’s borders and into the world of drug trafficking.

Read More »

Posted by May 19, 2015