SAPOA Letter To Mayor Ron Nirenberg & City Council


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Statement From Mike Helle, January 5, 2018

Mike Helle - SAPOA President

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               Contact: Mike Helle

January 5, 2018                                                                      Email:


Statement From Mike Helle,

President, San Antonio Police Officers’ Association


San Antonio, TX – Mike Helle made the following statement regarding Police Chief William McManus’ decision to release twelve (12) undocumented immigrants who were found in the back of a semi truck on December 23, 2017:

“Police Officers deal with tough cases every day, and human smuggling is among the most difficult. Their jobs are made even more challenging when the Police Chief fails to enact or enforce any standard procedure for dealing with situations like the one that occurred on December 23rd, which unfortunately, are not rare and very likely to occur again. Chief McManus’ decision to abandon years of cooperation between Federal and Municipal agencies in dealing with human smuggling cases, released the undocumented immigrants without checking their immigration status or even running a standard background and/or ID check is completely contrary to the proper way SAPD handles such situations, including an almost identical situation in July 2017.

“This arbitrary decision by the Chief, which he himself admits is ‘…not necessarily how every case will be handled going forward,’ makes police officers jobs more difficult because they have no way of knowing how to handle or process cases like these.

“I also have serious concerns what impact the Chief’s decisions might have for the safety of our community. The Chief may very well have put this community at risk and possibly even violated federal or State laws. His failure to identify and run a routine background check on these individuals, who were in police custody for several hours, makes it possible that he could have very well let someone, or several people, with a criminal record loose in San Antonio.

“The job of the SAPOA is to protect the men and women of the SAPD just as they protect the people of San Antonio. It’s not the job of either organization to make law, but enforce it. This debate isn’t about immigration policy, but a debate about enforcement, and we deserve answers from the Chief.”

“The Chief owes the community and the men and women of the San Antonio Police Department some answers about his conduct and actions including how will our federal grant money for law enforcement be affected?”

“My concern is for the safety of the community and for the men and women of law enforcement first, and unfortunately on the eve of our City’s 300th anniversary, the Chief has thrust San Antonio into the national news in a negative light.”


# # #

14 Texas Officers Killed in the Line of Duty in 2017

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.

Managing Stress during the Holidays

Comforting citizen

For many people, working during the holidays can mean office parties, a little more relaxed atmosphere, or even taking some time off. For law enforcement, however, it’s just the opposite. Working around the holidays for police officers can bring additional stress to an already stress-filled job.

While the holiday season means plenty of homes filled with new gifts and lots of socializing, eating, and drinking at family get-togethers and parties, it also means more chances of domestic disputes, public altercations, drunk driving, and theft. As a result, many police officers take measures to effectively manage the additional stress that comes during the holidays.

This is something we can all benefit from. After all, high levels of stress can have many negative health and behavioral consequences, including contributing to cardiovascular disease, headaches and fatigue, anxiety, irritability or anger, sadness or depression, eating disorders, social withdrawal, and drug or alcohol abuse. Fortunately, you can reduce stress and minimize its consequences with simple activities like exercising and eating healthier, reducing your workload and, if possible, taking time off work, seeing your doctor regularly, and having a good social support system made up of family and friends.

The effects of increased stress or chronic, long-term stress can go unrecognized, even by the person experiencing it. People tend to avoid acknowledging that they are feeling impacted by stress, either because they do not want to admit it to themselves or because they do not want to be seen as being unable to cope with a situation. So remember, even if you’re not in a high-pressure, high-stress job like a first responder, if you are feeling the impacts of stress, especially during this time of year, reach out to someone for help. And if you know someone who may be dealing with high levels of stress, talk to them and ask how you can help.

Have a happy holiday season and a Merry Christmas from the San Antonio Police Officers’ Association.

2017 Executive Board Elections


Message from Mike Helle,

President, San Antonio Police Officers Association

On behalf of the entire Executive Board, I want to thank each and every one of you for your support in Wednesday’s deadline for nominations for the SAPOA board elections. While there is still one Executive Board position for you to vote for – Parliamentarian – we are all very grateful for your vote of confidence in our leadership as illustrated by the remaining positions being uncontested. I am proud to note that vice president Dean Fischer and I have now been elected 5 terms in a row, which is a first for a SAPOA president and vice president team. Together, we have all been through a lot over the last few years, but it has been a great privilege to serve you, your family, and our community.

As I begin my next term as your president, rest assured that my commitment to you and SAPOA remains steadfast. I will continue to fight for your rights, protect your benefits, and promote your interests. We will also work with City leaders and reach out to the community to ensure that you get the respect you deserve as you carry out your important mission to protect and serve the people of San Antonio.

Thank you.