2017 SAPOA Picnic is Another Success

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The 2017 SAPOA picnic took place on Friday, September 29th, at Comanche Park #2 from 11 AM – 11 PM. As usual, food, drinks, games, and music were provided for all San Antonio police officers and their families.

Current members of city council arrived to show their support for the men and women in blue. Our Blue Cares outreach team was onsite selling SAPD and SAPOA merchandise. Families lined up for barbeque, roasted corn, and ice cream that was served by SAPOA and Blue Cares volunteers and members of the SAPD Explorers. Children were able to rock climb, play video games, and participate in other activities throughout the park.

The family-friendly event occurs every year to show appreciation for the law enforcement officers of San Antonio and retirees. It was a big success and we can’t wait to do it again next year. The San Antonio Police Officers’ Association would like to thank all the sponsors of the 2017 SAPOA picnic.

If You Don’t Know Blue Cares, You Should

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Every day, when they put on the badge, police officers try to make the city of San Antonio a safer, better place to live. They are members of the San Antonio Police Officer’s Association (SAPOA) and proud public servants, so their duty to make a difference in the community, carries on, even when the badge comes off.

Police officer’s constantly see low income families struggling to provide their children with a happy and healthy childhood. That’s why there’s the San Antonio Police Officer’s Association’s benefit fund, Blue Cares. Two of the oldest and most successful Blue Cares programs are The Blue Santa Program and Project CJ.

Blue Santa was created to address the financial hardships families face during the holidays. Since 1976, Blue Santa has been working with local companies and volunteers to collect food, toys, clothes, and monetary donations. Then, every December, Blue Santa and his volunteer elves go out and deliver these gifts to children and families throughout this city.

Project CJ is another great program that serves students attending Title 1 Elementary schools. Most of these students are enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs, so on weekends when there is not a school cafeteria available, some might miss a meal or two. Teaming up with Harris Dailey-Wells, police officers deliver delicious snack packs every Thursday for students to take home for the weekend. Project CJ even makes sure that extra snack packs are sent home for siblings too young to attend school.

In addition to these two great programs, Blue Cares also provides financial assistance for young people’s college career, because they believe if a student has the potential and desire they should not let financial hardship stand in the way. The Blue Cares scholarship was established in memory of Officer Patricia Calderon, the first female officer killed in the line of duty. This scholarship provides deserving high school graduates with financial assistance in the name of all officers killed in the line of duty.

Every one of these programs is supported by three annual fundraising events: the Sporting Clay Shoot, Casino Night, and the Blue Santa Golf Tournament. Aside from hosting these events, the real satisfaction comes from the great things these programs make possible.

Police officers are an integral part of our community and the San Antonio Police Officer’s Organization is committed to being there for them so they can be there for you. If you want to help or for more information, please call (210) 822-4428 or visit sapoa.org/bluecares.

Police Training Gets 3D

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Police officer practicing shooting at a target range

A much-needed upgrade is coming to SAPD’s cadet training facility.  A new virtual reality training simulation has been added to the AACOG Regional Law Enforcement Academy. The virtual reality training simulation helps train police officers in high-stress situations in a controlled, simulated environment.

 

These simulations help cadets learn how to think on their feet and problem solve their way through tense situations. These virtual simulations can portray scenarios like school shootings, workplace violence and other serious situations.  Cadets in training are given specially designed pistols and are set up in a state-of-the-art room wired with sensors and special technology to sense trigger times, shots fired and the accuracy of the shots fired from the specially-designed training weapons.

 

The brand new technology has been intergraded into the newly renovated AACOG Law Enforcement Academy now in its 45th year helping train and educate San Antonio’s police force. The academy, managed by Richard Bryan, also helps train officers in new concerns like the rise of cellphone camera, appropriate usage of social media and adherence to body camera policy.

 

The new top-down simulation system came with the current facility site and serves as a life-size more true to life way to train cadets. “Knowing the experience, knowing what it feels like to have to make that decision, it gives you a lot more confidence going out into the streets,” cadet Matt Lemmon said when discussing his training at the AACOG facility.  Thanks to the new facilities new cadets can feel more prepared for the situations they are likely to face in the real world and now they can take those challenges more head on with better knowledge and experience.

Blue Cares Scholarship Recipients Named

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SAPD Association scholarship winners at their annual dinner

ALEXIS FORBES has been named the 2016 SAPOA Blue Cares Scholarship Top Cop Winner. A total of 15 students were selected as scholarship recipients by the San Antonio Police Officer’s Association. They are:

  • BREANNA WALKER
  • CHRIS ROLLINS
  • IMAN WALLACE
  • RYAN SULLIVAN
  • MEGAN OJEDA
  • ANGELINA ROBLEDO
  • DANIELLE WARMOWSKI
  • ROBERT WOODS
  • AALIYAH CRAWFORD
  • ALESSANDRA VALADEZ
  • ALEXIS VALADEZ
  • JACQUELYN RODRIGUEZ
  • MIRANDA ROBLES
  • BIANNCA RECODER

 

Congratulations to all the winners!

San Antonio Police Officers Association Scholarship Dinner held Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at Ajuua in San Antonio. Photo©Mark Sobhani Photography

San Antonio Police Officers Association Scholarship Dinner held Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at Ajuua in San Antonio. Photo©Mark Sobhani Photography

 

The San Antonio Police Officer’s Association Blue Cares Scholarship was created in honor of Officer Patricia Calderon who was killed in the line of duty on December 27, 1988. She served five years and was the first female officer killed in San Antonio.

The SAPOA Blue Cares Scholarship honors all San Antonio Police Officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Their memories are kept alive by awarding college scholarships to deserving applicants wishing to further their education.

Fundraiser Started to Help Officer in Need

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heart care medical logo

Corporal Walter Harlee is a Bexar Country sheriff officer deputy who has dutifully served with the sheriff’s office for 15 years. A recent misdiagnosis has left Harlee with an amputated leg and a mound of bills to pay. Doctors suspected another condition and it resulted his leg being amputated at the knee after gangrene set in after what should have been a straightforward procedure.

 

Harlee is still recovering in the hospital and didn’t tell his colleagues about his recent medical misadventure.  Once Harlee’s colleague Joshua Casarez found out about the situation he began to rally the community together to help cover his fellow brother in arms.

 

Casarez has started a GoFundMe to help cover Harlee’s hospital expenses and continue to cover his bills. “He’s a strong guy. He’s a good strong personality. He’s a good worker and he’s just been dealt bad luck. He needs help.” Casarez said about his motivations to start the campaign to assist Harlee.

 

Harlee, 60 years old, doesn’t have any family in San Antonio and he will be supported by friends when he is released from the hospital. “You have lots of brothers in blue who are here for you.” Casarez said to Harlee to express his support for his fellow officer.

 

“He’s got stuff he needs to pay, you know? He wasn’t expecting it. So, any help that we can get him, it’ll help him get through this.” Casarez said about setting up the campaign.

 

If you would like to contribute to Harlee’s GoFundMe page click here.