80th CPA Class Kicks Off

February 11, 2014, was day one of the current Citizen Police Academy session, a program which Austin began in 1987.  The 37 class participants were welcomed by SPO Kilgore and treated to a meal provided by the Austin CPA Alumni Association. Over the 14 weeks of the session, the class will receive information from police officers which will promote greater understanding of the operations of the department and police work in Austin.  In mid-March, the class president announced that she had received commitments from restaurants to provide food to the class on four dates during the session. Those generous restaurants are: Jimmy John’s, Hoover’s, Love Balls, and East Side Café.  The class also planned to hold an informational meeting for any members of their class and previous classes who will make application for police officer positions at APD.  Graduation ceremonies for the 80th class are planned for May 20.

Operation Blue Santa prepares for Golf Fundraiser

Golf Flyer (1)-page-001

Operation Blue Santa is preparing to host the 3rd Annual “Swing Into Action” Golf tournament. The tournament benefits Operation Blue Santa, which provides meals and gifts to needy Austin families during the holidays.

Operation Blue Santa is supported over 3,500 families this past year and is in need of support from the Austin community. Everyone is highly encouraged to invite any and all golfers that they may know to this event – Operation Blue Santa and the Austin Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association thanks you!

The tournament will be held on Thursday, March 13th, 2014 at Falconhead Golf Club (15201 Falconhead Blvd, Austin, TX 78738) at 1:00 PM. Please click on the picture of the flyer above for more details.

Austin Citizen Police Academy Highlighted in Daily Texan

ACPA was recently featured in an online article for the Daily Texan, the University of Texas’s student newspaper. In it, Senior Police Officer Jermaine Kilgore, ACPAAA President Melinda Rodriguez, and ACPAAA Vice-President Susan Reed were quoted praising the ACPA for its service to the city and spreading the word about the program.

The article can be viewed here.

79th ACPA Class Graduates

In its 26th year of providing education through the Citizen Police Academy to the people of Austin, the Austin Police Department held graduation ceremonies on December 17, 2013, for 31 citizens who completed the session that began in September.  In the Academy, APD strives to create understanding through education and increase the rapport between citizens and police officers. The class members gained a working knowledge of APD and benefited from information in the diverse curriculum topics presented by the police officers.

Family members and friends of the graduates gathered at Cornerstone Church to recognize the 79th Class for their commitment in completing the class.  Graduates were commended by the CPA Coordinator, Senior Police Officer Jermaine Kilgore, who praised their efforts and success.

“Congratulations to the graduates of the 79th Citizens Police Academy. It was my pleasure spending the last 14 weeks with all of you. I hope that this experience was enlightening to you all, and going forward I hope the relationship and communication between you and your Police Department grows more and more each day.”
–    Senior Police Officer Jermaine Kilgore
 

To show their appreciation to Officer Kilgore for his work as coordinator, Class President Nanci Wilson, on behalf of the class, presented a special gift to Officer Kilgore during the ceremony.

A reception with refreshments after the ceremony was provided and hosted by the Austin Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association which is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the APD through volunteerism and community activities.  Graduates of the Academy are encouraged to join the Alumni Association and participate in their motto of “Sharing a commitment for a stronger, educated community” through the Association’s activities.

For photos of the 79th ACPA graduation, please visit our Photos page.

APD Puts 33 New Officers on the Street

On December 13, 2013, Chief Acevedo administered the oath of office to the graduates of APD Cadet Class 125, thereby increasing the strength of the force which is sworn to safeguard lives and property, protect the innocent, and serve the community.  After eight months of intensive training, the cadets began their law enforcement careers.  Austin Mayor Leffingwell and Councilman Martinez addressed the cadets, their families, and others in attendance at the graduation ceremony held in Northwest Austin.  In his remarks, the Mayor extended special congratulations to one cadet, Monika McCoy, who is the daughter of former APD Officer McCoy who ended the deaths and injuries caused by the ‘Tower Sniper’ Charles Whitman in August of 1966 by climbing the UT Tower with a fellow officer, and killing Whitman, thereby stopping the 90 minutes of terror in Austin.

During the ceremony, the large crowd applauded as each cadet had their new badge pinned on their uniform, after which the oath was administered to the group.  Chief Acevedo welcomed them to the Department and reminded them that their badge and uniform were symbols of their profession and  should be worn with pride and humility.  After the ceremony, the new officers enjoyed ‘photo ops’ with their families and everyone enjoyed refreshments provided by the Austin Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association.

Photos from the graduation can be viewed on our photos page.

Amigos En Azul prepares for annual Christmas community service

Amigos En Azul, Austin Police Department’s Hispanic community outreach program, is preparing for their annual event ‘Shop with a Cop,’ which provides about 50 local Hispanic elementary school students the opportunity to go Christmas shopping with an Austin Police Officer using funds provided by the organization. The students are selected by their schools based on need. The ‘Shop with a Cop’ program, along with others from the organization, have provided an excellent example of minority outreach by APD, bridging the gap to a population that is underserved. When asked about Amigos’ impact on the community, Senior Police Officer Luis Delgado III, Amigos’ President and 19 year member, had this to say:

The noticeable reaction from the community comes from various organizations and community leaders who have taken notice of our endeavors. So much so, that when the State Department questioned community leaders about which organizations were making a positive impact on the Hispanic community, our organization was consistently mentioned.

Amigos En Azul, or Friends in Blue, was founded in 1982 and has grown to include approximately 455 members, mostly Austin Police Officers. In addition to the Shop with a Cop program, Amigos En Azul provides scholarships to local high school students, encourages the consideration of Law Enforcement careers, and participates in numerous APD community outreach programs. Amigos En Azul has provided over $60,000 in scholarships to Hispanic students since the program began. Amigos’ funds are primarily provided by membership dues, the organization’s annual golf tournament, and support from Target, as well as local businesses.

I would like to close by saying that this is a personal endeavor taken up by the board, on their own personal time. We manage, coordinate, execute all our events on our off time. We do this after working our 40 hours in our assignments. But what I have found is that our active board members work not for the accolades or recognition, but to truly make a difference within our community.

       –  Senior Police Officer Luis Delgado III

While SPO Delgado and the rest of the Amigos En Azul board do not work for recognition, their efforts merit a great deal of respect and appreciation from the citizens of Austin.

This year’s date for Shop with a Cop is December 19th, 2013.

For more information on Amigos En Azul, please visit the Austin Police Department’s Amigos En Azul web page, located here.

Showin’ the Love to Our DRs

Citizens from all around Austin showed support for their APD District Representatives (DRs) in October by contacting City Council members to tell the Council that they did not want their DRs to be taken from their neighborhoods to work the downtown trails through the remainder of the pilot program. The Council had months earlier established trails open 24 hours/7 days for bicyclists and pedestrians in/near the downtown area requiring policing every day all day, but overtime pay was not provided. Because the council for many years has not approved budget funds to allow for adequate police staffing in Austin, APD had to pull officers in different units from around the city to patrol those areas, leaving fewer in areas which need their assigned officers.

Stats were collected showing that trail usage was an average of about 13 people each night. When citizens learned of this extremely low usage and that the DR officers in their neighborhoods who provide critically needed community policing services would continue to be pulled to work the trails . . . they took action. The Council was flooded with hundreds of phone calls and emails from around the city telling them how important the DRs are to the neighborhoods, how their services are vital to help neighbors, and that the citizens wanted to keep their DRs rather than having them pulled to work on different tasks. The Council responded by reinstating the curfew on the trails and APD agreed to allow the DRs to stay in their sectors. This situation demonstrated to the Council and APD the value that citizens place on the work done by their DRs, the benefits of community policing services they provide, and the esteem and respect citizens have for their District Reps. And a side benefit was that the DRs were assured that the residents of the areas where they work appreciate their efforts and believe in the services they provide.

For more information about APD’s District Representatives program, please follow this link.

APD Receives Nine Donated K9 Vests

The Austin Police Department has received nine donated K9 vests from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. (VIK9s). The vests, Level II Spike II Gemini by Armor Express located in Michigan, are valued at $2,800 each. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. receives a government contract price and is able to purchase them for $950.  They protect the K9 units from ballistic and stab wounds. The generous donation was made to VIK9s by PetArmor, the maker of flea and tick products and will equip all nine of Austin’s K9 units.

Vested Interest in K9s is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based out of East Taunton, Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2009, VIK9s has donated over 454 vests to law enforcement agencies throughout the country. The funds for the vests are provided by donations which are collected through various fundraisers as well as standalone contributions. VIK9s also encourages holding fundraisers to pay for a K9 vest, where they allow the organizer to specify which law enforcement agency the vest will be donated to.

The K9 units are currently adjusting to the vests. Officer Jimmie Davenport, currently working with Wiley (pictured above), stated: “We are incorporating them into our training regimen. As with anything new, there is a period of adjustment to work out the kinks. Dogs being dogs, some accept it without issue and others not as readily.”

Officer Davenport also had this to add in regards to VIK9s: “I’m moved that there are people who are concerned for our partners to the point of providing such a vital piece of equipment to us. I hope to never “need” the vest’s protection.  But it’s reassuring knowing it’s available to us.  Again, we are grateful and humbled for being provided these vests for our partners.”

Anyone who is interested in VIK9s is encouraged to visit their Facebook page, Twitter Feed, LinkedIn profile, and Google+ page. Donations can also be submitted through VIK9s’s main website.

 

A 3-minute video about one of APD’s K9 units can be found here.

APD Hosting Women’s Recruiting Event

 

APD Women's Recruiting

Always thought of as a job for men, more and more women are choosing police work. The Austin Police Department currently has 171 female officers and is looking for more women to join the ranks. To encourage more female applicants, APD is hosting a Women in Law Enforcement recruiting event onSaturday, October 19, 2013.

Topics include application and training requirements, balancing home and work life, and career paths and promotion opportunities. APD Recruiting staff will be on hand to speak with interested applicants. Speakers include APD Assistant Chief Jessica Robledo, who started with APD in 1988 and rose through the ranks to her current role, in which she oversees the Special Operations (SWAT and Bomb Squad), Specialized Patrol and Special Events, Highway Enforcement, Communications, and Victims’ Services Divisions.

“Women bring their own uniqueness and style to a male-dominated profession,” Robledo said. “I would tell any woman interested in becoming a law enforcement officer to not let fear of the unknown paralyze you from achieving your dreams.”

Women in Law Enforcement Recruiting Event: Are you APD Strong?
Saturday, October 19, 2013
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Cornerstone Church, 1101 Reinli, Austin, TX

APD Recruiting Lieutenant Gerardo Gonzalez said that having women on the force is essential. “APD understands the value women bring to law enforcement and we are looking for strong, committed, women to join our team and help us remain the most professional law enforcement agency in the nation.”

Austin is a fast-growing, diverse community and APD offers a competitive benefits package including health and life insurance, vacation and sick time, retirement and many career opportunities. To learn about how to be APD Strong, visit apdrecruiting.org, email recruiting@austintexas.gov or call 512-974-4211.

79th CPA Class Begins

September 17 was the first night of the newest session of the APD’s Citizen Police Academy with almost 40 people registered to attend the session that will conclude with graduation on December 17, 2013.  The class members were welcomed by SPO Jermaine Kilgore, who assumed duties as the CPA Coordinator early this year.  As of June 2013, a total of 1,910 citizens have completed the Academy which was implemented in 1987.

A meal of pizza, drinks, and cookies was provided by the Austin CPA Alumni Association whose President, Melinda Rodriguez, welcomed all to the class and assured them that they would benefit greatly by what they learn.  She invited them to become members of the Alumni Association and to extend their knowledge of APD operations with volunteer opportunities available through the Association.  Several members of the ACPAAA were present at the meeting to visit with class attendees and welcome them.

Officer Kilgore briefly reviewed the agendas for the 13 weeks of classes this session and announced that ride outs with patrol officers for the class would be done in late October and early November.  He thanked the class members for their participation and commitment to the Academy.