14 Texas Officers Killed in the Line of Duty in 2017

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Blue Line

Law Enforcement is a job like no other, and last year, 128 officers made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. That number is 10% down from 2016 when 143 officers died, marking the second lowest toll in over 50 years. The only other year with fewer deaths was in 2013, when 116 officers were killed in the line of duty.

In 2017, traffic-related incidents claimed the lives of 47 officers while 44 officers were shot and killed. Sixteen officer deaths are attributed to job-related ailments, including heart attacks (10). Seven officers died as a result of physical assaults. Five officers also lost their lives helping others during hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Four officers died as a result of ailments contracted during the 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts. Two officers died in a helicopter crash. Two died in boating accidents. And, one officer was stabbed to death. Nine of the fallen officers were female. Texas had the highest number of officer fatalities (14), including two border patrol agents.

 

2017 Fallen Texas Officers:

 

Police Officer Kenneth Copeland

San Marcos Police Department, TX

EOW: Monday, December 4, 2017

Cause of Death: Gunfire

 

Trooper Damon Allen

Texas Department of Public Safety – Texas Highway Patrol, TX

EOW: Thursday, November 23, 2017

Cause of Death: Gunfire

 

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez

United States Department of Homeland Security – Customs and Border Protection – United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government patch

EOW: Sunday, November 19, 2017

Cause of Death: Unidentified

 

Senior Trooper Thomas Patrick Nipper

Texas Department of Public Safety – Texas Highway Patrol, Texas patch

EOW: Saturday, November 4, 2017

Cause of Death: Automobile crash

 

Police Officer Floyd East, Jr.

Texas Tech University Police Department, Texas patch

EOW: Monday, October 9, 2017

Cause of Death: Gunfire

 

Police Officer Elias Martinez, Jr.

Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department, TX

EOW: Sunday, September 17, 2017

Cause of Death: Motorcycle crash

 

Deputy Constable Mark Diebold

Tarrant County Constable’s Office – Precinct 5, TX

EOW: Thursday, September 7, 2017

Cause of Death: Heart attack

 

Sergeant Steve Albert Perez

Houston Police Department, TX

EOW: Sunday, August 27, 2017

Cause of Death: Drowned

 

Corporal Monty D. Platt

West Texas A&M University Police Department, TX

EOW: Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Cause of Death: Animal related

 

Detective Elise Ybarra

Abilene Police Department, TX

EOW: Sunday, August 6, 2017

Cause of Death: Automobile crash

 

Deputy Sheriff Jason Fann

Yoakum County Sheriff’s Office, TX

EOW: Saturday, August 5, 2017

Cause of Death: Automobile crash

 

Police Officer Miguel I. Moreno

San Antonio Police Department, TX

EOW: Friday, June 30, 2017

Cause of Death: Gunfire

 

Corrections Officer Shana Tedder

Texas Department of Criminal Justice, TX

EOW: Friday, June 9, 2017

Cause of Death: Heart attack

 

Border Patrol Agent Isaac Morales

United States Department of Homeland Security – Customs and Border Protection – United States Border Patrol, US

EOW: Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cause of Death: Stabbed

 

Assistant Chief Deputy Clinton Greenwood

Harris County Constable’s Office – Precinct 3, TX

EOW: Monday, April 3, 2017

Cause of Death: Gunfire

 

Detective Jerry Ronald Walker

Little Elm Police Department, TX

EOW: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cause of Death: Gunfire

 

Our hearts go out to the families of these fallen officers, the San Antonio Police Department, and everyone else affected by last year’s tragic deaths.

Back the Men and Women in Blue who work to protect you!

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San Antonio Police

On July 7, 2016, five Dallas Police Officers were killed by sniper fire during a peaceful protest while seven others, including two civilians, were wounded. The Saturday following the Dallas shooting, San Antonio police got a call about shots fired near the San Antonio Police Headquarters. Bullet markings were left on the building and shell casings were found in a nearby alley. More than ever, citizens need to come together to back the blue. Here’s why:

 

The duties of a police officer focus on protecting the people and property of the community. They patrol their assigned areas, respond to calls, enforce the law, make arrests, and give out citations. Law enforcement officers are the first to respond to calls of crime, terrorism, and other threats. They are first on the scene of a crime in the event of life and death. In the event of an emergency, who else would you call to handle your crisis?

 

Police officers spend hours out of their day away from their families and loved ones. They risk their lives the minute they leave their home. Because of their uniform, they are an easy target for people who may have negative opinions of law enforcement. If an officer lost his or her life, their family loses a loved one and a provider, and society loses another person trying to keep our city safe.

 

Law enforcement staffing is low in the city of San Antonio. According to Watchdog.org, as of April 2016 the San Antonio Police Department is short-staffed about 200 officers and only 1 in 10 applicants make the cut. Your attitude towards law enforcement determines whether a man or woman chooses a career as a police officer. By supporting men and women who wear the badge, you are also encouraging others to do the same.

 

It has never been safe to be a police officer and it probably never will. Police officers have one overall goal in their day and that is to make it back home to their families. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the five fallen Dallas Police Officers and the Dallas Police Department.

 

Visit www.sapoa.org for more information or www.backsablue.com to see how you can help.

Putting a Stop to Graffiti

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The City of San Antonio has been fighting graffiti for as long as any officer, active or retired, can remember.  Not only is the vandalism an eye sore for San Antonio residents, but costs thousands of dollars to tax payers to repair and recover.  Police Chief William McManus sites that the city has already spent a million dollars to cover up almost 4 million square feet of graffiti.

And the city and tax payers aren’t the only ones whose pockets are being raided. Dee Pleasant, a longtime member of Conqueror’s Assembly in Beacon Hill says that graffiti on their church building has cost them time and time again.

“It’s a citywide problem, but in this neighborhood where I worship it is a problem . . . I don’t know if you’ve noticed the church, “ Pleasant said, “we’ve had to paint and it’s two different tones.  And inside, they’ve hopped a fence and graffitied the back.”

Graffiti, also called “tagging”, is most likely found on street signs as well as personal and business property. Many times the message is a gang sign or symbol.  It is feared that it brings down property values, especially in neighborhoods.

The San Antonio Police Department has begun a new initiative to stop tagging.  By working directly with the city’s development services, they are providing a bumper sticker with a direct line for a citizen to call when they see graffiti happening.

“There’s so many times that people are driving down the road, they see this going on (and) they have no idea who to call,” Officer Bryan Cowan said. “A lot of people’s first response is to call 911, which ties up our 911 service. So with the bumper sticker, it gives them a direct line.”

“When you see someone in the process or the act of committing graffiti, please call us,” McManus said. “It enhances our chances of better catching these folks while they are in the process of tagging our property.”

You’ll begin to see the bumper stickers on city vehicles.  If you feel strongly about graffiti in your area, you too can sport a bumper sticker.  The more the word and number gets out, the better the chances of catching the perpetrators and stopping the defacement of our city.

The number to call to report graffiti is 210-207-SAPD.

(source: ksat)

Police Body Cameras are on the Rise

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police officer using his speaker

For years, police cruisers have been equipped with dashboard cameras.  We have all seen what they can record.  Television shows have profited from the footage as the public gazes at what officers see when they make a routine roadside stop to the behavior of the officers and the perpetrators of all types as they are approached, ticketed or even arrested.  These cameras have saved lives, served as detectives, and, in some cases, even brought some humor to the viewer.

What about the many officers who are not equipped with cameras?  Without a vehicle, how do you record what is happening and how do you keep your police force safe and their reputation clean?

Eighty of San Antonio’s finest bicycle officers are about to find out.  They have never had any sort of recording device before now and have recently been training to efficiently use some new technology now available in body cameras.

“It is fairly lightweight, it’s not cumbersome to wear, where you notice there is something on you at all times,” says Officer Marcus Trujillo of the new camera.

The device itself is very small and barely noticeable if you don’t know what to look for.  Most importantly it will increase accountability on both sides of the camera, leaving no question to the viewer as to where a dispute may begin or end.

“With everything that is going on in the country today, it’s important that we document interactions police have with citizens and vice-versa,” Police Chief McManus said.

One big difference between the body cameras and the dashboard cameras are that dashboard cameras are automatic and body cameras are not.  The officer will have to remember to turn it on at the beginning of their shift or before every call or interaction with a citizen.

The cameras run about $1,500 each and the San Antonio Police Department plan for them to be a part of every officer’s uniform within the next couple of years.

(source: ksat)

 

SAPD Wants Your Help in Keeping SA Neighborhoods Safe!

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a residential area on the bay

A new community-based police initiative has San Antonio locals getting involved to create safer neighborhoods.

The SAPD program called “Citizens on Patrol” allows locals to be the first line of defense against crime in their neighborhoods.

Community leader Tinker Mass reassures people that this program won’t be taking the place of police officers. “[The police] are still the professionals. We aren’t going to get involved in doing their job but we can certainly assist them in being better witnesses.”

And that’s exactly what this program aims to do.

A couple of weeks ago, Police Chief William McManus, along with several patrol officers, visited locals in Prospect Hill to discuss problem areas on the west side and ways to address them.

Since then, 14 different neighborhood leaders have reached out to Mass wanting to get involved.

The first step in getting involved, Mass said, is to get out and get the support of your neighbors. She then explained how she went house to house and business to business in order to get people involved in her community.

SAPD spokesman Douglas Greene is happy to see the initiative taking off.”We’re very excited about [the program] and we want to encourage more people to get involved,” he says.”If we have more eyes and ears out there on the streets it helps us tremendously [in making] the neighborhood safer.”

If you’re interested in joining the “Citizens on Patrol” program, you can start by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post and completing a registration form. Once you’ve submitted the form, you must attend two 4-hour courses at your neighborhood substation. Toward the end of your training you may even get the chance to go on an 8-hour ride along with police.

“Through this training we talk to individuals about how to recognize suspicious activity and how to report that activity,” Greene said.

The idea is that the more people are involved, the safer neighborhoods around San Antonio will be.

For more information on the “Citizen on Patrol” program or to get involved click here.

(Source: FOX29)