Around the State

Planning under way for 2015 POMF memorial service

Planning the 2015 POMF memorial

Planning the 2015 POMF memorial

The board that organizes the memorial service for the Police Officers Memorial Foundation began the planning effort for the 2015 event on Tuesday at CLEAT Headquarters.

Next year’s memorial events will be held May 3-4 at the Texas Capitol. Events include the Candlelight Vigil, the Ride for the Fallen and the memorial ceremony when the names of the officers killed in the line of duty over the past 12 months are read aloud before they are added to the Monument just northwest of the Capitol building.

APD Senior Sgt. Tim Kresta

APD Senior Sgt. Tim Kresta

The board, chaired by Senior Sgt. Tim Kresta of the Austin Police Department, began laying the groundwork for the behind-the-scenes but vital preparations to ensure a smooth and respectful event. Those preparations include securing permission to close off streets affected by the event, arranging for barricades, making suring hotel space is reserved and providing water for attendees.

More planning meetings will take place in the coming months and details will be posted online as they develop. But it’s not too soon to save the May 3-4 dates to take part in the formal paying of respects for our fallen officers.

Photos from past memorial events

Posted by September 30, 2014

The obituary for Travis County Deputy Jessica Hollis

deputy hollis

Senior Deputy Jessica Hollis

Jessica grew up in San Antonio, Texas, graduated from Churchill High School in 1997 where she was a varsity cheerleader. She attended Texas A&M in Corpus Christi and Southwest Texas State studying Marine Biology.

Jessica met her future husband, Ricky Hollis while they were serving as EMTs in San Antonio. They then served together as Paramedics for Calhoun County for 5 years. The couple moved to Austin after being accepted into the Austin Police Academy, and had the distinction of being the 2nd married couple to ever graduate from the Austin Police Academy. Read More »

Posted by September 22, 2014

A conversation with CLEAT General Counsel Mike Rickman

Long before Mick Rickman became the top lawyer for CLEAT, he was a member of CLEAT for seven years as a police officer in Mesquite.

“It was a important for me then, it’s important for officers now, and it will be important for officers in the future,” Rickman says.

Rickman, who used his law enforcement experience as a springboard to a legal career, says that every police officer stands in the path of a legal complaint every day on the job. And when someone files a complaint, no matter how trivial it might seem, the officer better have immediate access to top-flight legal representation.

And that’s exactly what every CLEAT member has.

“The bottom line is, the difference between an outside attorney and a CLEAT attorney is that the CLEAT attorney deals with (law enforcement issues) 24/7,” Rickman says.

Click on the video below to hear Mike explain the mission of CLEAT Legal Services in detail. This is one in an occasional series of conversations with the some of the people who make the CLEAT the largest and best labor law enforcement organization in Texas.

Posted by September 22, 2014

Bob Leonard promoted to Assistant General Counsel

Bob Leonard and Charley Wikison

Bob Leonard and Charley Wilkison

Staff Attorney Bob Leonard, who has been with CLEAT for nine years,  has been promoted to Assistant General Counsel by Executive Director Charley Wilkison.

Leonard, a New York native, joined CLEAT in 2005 and works in the San Antonio office. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in History at the University of New York, Stony Brook, and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

In 1983, Robert joined the U.S. Army and was a military police officer. In 1985, he joined the Army National Guard and served for 15 years.

CLEAT General Counsel Michael Rickman, who has been working from the San Antonio, is now setting up shop in the State Headquarters in Austin. He will be able to travel more in the field but will continue with a presence in San Antonio when needed, Wilkison said.

Posted by September 17, 2014

There’s still time to get T-shirts from the POMF BBQ Cook-off

bbq tIf you missed last weekend’s BBQ Cook-off in San Antonio to benefit the Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation but still want to help, you can buy an official T-shirt from the event.

The sizes go from medium to XXXL and the price is $12, plus $5 for shipping. Here’s the link to place your order online

All proceeds benefit the Texas Peace Officers Memorial, which is privately funded and located on the State Capitol grounds, about two blocks from CLEAT’s state headquarters.

The mission of the Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation is to perpetuate the memory of law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the citizens of Texas.

The cook-off was last weekend i San Antonio.

The cook-off was last weekend i San Antonio.

Posted by September 17, 2014

CLEAT helps clear Austin officers who used deadly force on armed suspect

Nadia Stewart

Nadia Stewart

Austin police officers who were forced to open fire on a man who leveled a shotgun at them in April 2013 were cleared this week by a grand jury.

CLEAT Staff Attorney Nadia Stewart represented Officers Matthew Henion, Nicholas Moore and Donovan Hunter in the incident that was described by APD Chief Art Acevedo as “suicide by cop.” A fourth officer in the incident had separate representation.

Stewart said the evidence was overwhelming that the man, who later was found to have quit taking medications to treat a mental disorder, represented a grave threat to the officers and anyone else in the area on the night of the shooting. He had barricaded himself in shed behind his home and was armed with the shotgun and a handgun. Read More »

Posted by September 17, 2014

Ed Martin to join CLEAT Executive Board

Ed Martin

Ed Martin

SAN ANTONIO — Ed Martin of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will join the CLEAT Executive Board effective Monday, replacing Mike Mills in Region 7 who is resigning after earning a promotion in Beaumont.

Martin, who attended the two-day executive board meeting in San Antonio on Wednesday and Thursday, said he’s excited to get to work on behalf of CLEAT members statewide. His particular interests include protecting law enforcement pensions and improving Texas’ workers’ compensation system.

“As far as stepping up and and going to the fight — I’ll go to the fight,” Martin told the board soon after President Todd Harrison made his appointment official. Read More »

Posted by September 12, 2014

CLEAT wins reversal of El Paso deputy’s suspension

Deputy Luis Silva and CLEAT Attorney Alyssa Perez

Deputy Luis Silva and CLEAT Attorney Alyssa Perez

Deputy Luis Silva, a 17-year veteran of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, had his three-day suspension overturned thanks to CLEAT Attorney Alyssa Perez.

The case arose out of Deputy Silva’ s involvement as an assisting unit to a controlled narcotics delivery operation. The operation turned into a pursuit of the target vehicle which was carrying over 400 pounds of marijuana.

Deputy Silva was the passenger in the primary unit.  Although all the deputies involved were investigated by internal affairs for violations of the pursuit policy, their cases were not sustained by the Sheriff. Read More »

Posted by September 9, 2014

$50 rebate offered for special POMF license plates

photoIf you’re considering getting special license plates that help support the Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation, you can get a break on the price between now and the end of September.

MyPlates.com is offering a $50 rebate when you purchase a 10-year term plate. To place an order, go to the website and enter promo code TENYR50.

The POMF gets a portion of the sales prices.

There are some conditions:

  • You must enter the promo code to receive the rebate.
  • It must be a 10-year term plate purchase.
  • Promo code expires Sept. 30.

Posted by September 9, 2014

27 officers receive Star of Texas Awards

Gov. Rick Perry comforts a police officer's family.

Gov. Rick Perry comforts a police officer’s family.

Eight law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty last year and 19 others who were seriously injured were among 32 Texas first responders honored at the State Capitol on Wednesday.

The officers, firefighters and emergency medical providers were given Star of Texas Awards by Gov. Rick Perry.

“The Texans we honor today are the best our state has to offer,” Perry said during the ceremony in the Texas House Chamber. Read More »

Posted by September 3, 2014