Category Archives: Police News

Peace Officers’ Angels Foundation holding fundraisers to ease holiday worries for injured officers

POAF-LogoThe Peace Officers’ Angels Foundation (POAF) is holding fundraisers on December 6 and 7 to raise money for injured Peace Officers and their families who are located primarily in the North Texas area; however, the Foundation covers all 254 Texas counties.

“We are looking to help 20 – 25 injured Peace Officers and their families this year,” said POAF founder Maria Barreda-Alvarado. “In the past, we’ve had officers or members of their families tell us that what we were able to provide was the only ‘Christmas’ they had. Whether they use funds for their kids’ gifts, Christmas dinner, or to pay a bit on their medical bills, no donation is too small to make a big difference.”

Monetary donations and gift cards (Wal-Mart is a popular choice, as these stores are even generally located close to remote towns, where some Officers live) will be collected at the locations below. All donations are 100% tax-deductible.

Friday, December 6, 2019:

  • Gilligan’s Bar and Grill, 400 E. Abram, Arlington, 76010 (11am-2pm and 3pm-9pm)
  • Clay Cooley Mitsubishi, 1500 W. Interstate 20, Arlington, 76017 (8am-5pm)
  • Arlington Alliance for Children, 1320 W. Abram, Arlington 76013 (8am-5pm)
  • El Primo’s Mexican Grill & Cantina, 2300 Matlock Rd, Mansfield, 76063 (All Day)

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Saturday, December 7, 2019:

  • Grand Prairie Police Dept, 1525 Arkansas Lane, Grand Prairie, 75052 (8am-5pm)

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Please be aware that toys or other items cannot be accepted. Only monetary donations via cash, checks, credit cards and gift cards will be collected.

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Donations are also accepted via regular mail any time at: P.O. Box 121961, Arlington, TX 76012. To donate with a credit card, please visit POAF.org.

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THANK YOU in advance for your kindness and generosity. Peace Officers protect their communities. Let’s help them out!

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About POAF:

CorporalRickBarredaSticker-295x300POAF was founded by Maria Barreda-Alvarado, who lost her son, Cpl. Rick Barreda, on February 14, 1997 when a vehicle struck his motorcycle as he sat on the side of the road gauging speeds for the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Airport Police Department. Rick also served on the DFW SWAT team and, for a short time, for the DFW Fire Department.

POAF’s mission is, “To provide emotional support and short-term financial assistance to any Texas Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) following a serious or life changing line-of-duty injury. POAF’s success relies on strong community partnerships standing behind our peace officers and their families.”

“It is vitally important to keep that communication going with our injured officers so that they know that they are not forgotten. We want our injured officers to have that emotional support when they most need it,” said Barreda-Alvarado.

POAF provides services such as:

  • Spousal Support Groups for our LEO’s and their families
  • Peer Support Groups that will allow previous injured officers to come together to share their struggles, celebrate their successes and offer each other encouragement along their difficult journey towards healing and rehabilitation.
  • Assistance Program to help out with financial hardships
  • Public Awareness for the safety of our law enforcement

To learn more, visit POAF.org

Police pack Texas football stands for fallen officer’s son at his first game

By Allison Klein 

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Dozens of police officers showed up to support Joaquin Espericueta at his middle-school football game Saturday. (City of Mission)

It was Joaquin Espericueta’s first middle-school football game and his first game since his father was killed.His father, Jose “Speedy” Espericueta, a corporal with the Mission, Tex., police department, was fatally shot responding to a call in June — the department’s first officer killed in the line of duty in 40 years.

Everyone who knew Espericueta knew how much he bonded with his son over football and how excited he was for his son’s football debut on the Cathey Middle School team in McAllen, Tex.

Read more from the Washington Post…

Colleyville, Grapevine and Euless PDs address recent school threats

PRESS RELEASE

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Editor’s Corner: Peace Officers’ Angels Foundation assists injured Texas law enforcement

By Stacey Doud

POAF-LogoThe Police Officers’ Angels Foundation (POAF) is a non -profit organization that “provides emotional support and short-term financial assistance to any Texas Law Enforcement officer following a serious or life changing line-of-duty injury. POAF’s success relies on strong community partnerships standing behind our peace officers and their families,” which is their mission statement.

Maria

Barreda-Alvarado (Photo courtesy of POAF)

Maria Barreda-Alvarado started the Foundation after her son, Corporal Rick Barreda, who served with the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Airport Police Department, was killed in the line of duty on February 14, 1997. A vehicle struck his motorcycle as he sat on the side of the road gauging speeds. Rick also served on the DFW SWAT team and, for a short time, for the DFW Fire Department.

“Our official name is Peace Officers’ Angels Foundation because some folks confuse the word ‘Peace’ with ‘Police.’ We use ‘Peace Officer’ because we also serve our DPS Troopers, Deputies and Sheriffs’ Offices. POAF serves cities, state, and counties,” Barreda-Alvarado said.

In fact, POAF serves all 254 counties in Texas. “We are focused on the smaller cities and towns in Texas – the ones that don’t have support like a 100 Club,” Barreda-Alvarado said. “That doesn’t mean that we won’t help when we can in a big city. We just want to make sure the smaller places are covered, too.”

The POAF relies on memberships and fundraisers to stay afloat. They are hosting their inaugural golf tournament on Monday October 7, 2019 at the Walnut Creek Country Club in Mansfield. They, along with partner TLEOMF (Texas Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund), organize the annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night at a Texas Rangers game every fall. This year, it will be held on Friday, September 13 at Globe Life Park as the Rangers take on the Oakland Athletics.

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As the last few years have seen a record number of first responder deaths and injuries, the POAF is very busy and is always in need of volunteers and financial support.

For more information or to find out how you can help, visit POAF.org. All donations are tax-deductible and a receipt will be provided.

“No donation is too small to make a difference.” – POAF Motto

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Download the Rangers Flyer Here (.pdf)

Editor’s Corner: Officer’s death is another blow to kindness and compassion for others

By Stacey Doud

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A Grand Prairie police officer, AJ Castaneda, age 38, was killed around 10:30am on June 7 while checking radar speeds on the shoulder of the George Bush Turnpike. A 17-year-old driver hit the officer’s vehicle and the officer fell off of the overpass onto the lower highway, about 20 feet below. He died at an Arlington hospital about 30 minutes later.

The person who came upon the accident and reported it was an officer from another city. He had the brains to get into Castaneda’s patrol car and radio directly to Castaneda’s agency in Grand Prairie to let them know what was going on.

I’ve been a law enforcement supporter for many years now, simply because I know I could not to that job, so I admire those that can.

In today’s climate, I often get criticized for supporting the cops; however, I am not a blind follower. I realize that there are bad apples in the policing field, just as in any area of employment. I feel shame when I hear about a cop abusing his or her privileges as peacekeepers.

That being said, I attended a candlelight vigil for Castaneda on June 9, which was held in front of Grand Prairie’s Public Safety Building.

I had never met Castaneda, but when something tragic like this happens, I like to lend my support, even if it’s providing another warm body at an event.

I got there a bit early and parked. As I walked up to the gathering spot, I was overwhelmed with the crowd. Literally hundreds of people, young and old, showed up to pay respects to this officer that I knew nothing about.

As I listened to the speakers, I came to understand that Castaneda was an exceptional officer. He raised money to provide meals every Thursday to the youth of an impoverished neighborhood in Grand Prairie. He saved the life of a choking baby. He earned medals and awards too countless to list.

The question everyone asks themselves when a good person dies popped into my head: Why him? Why him and not the cop that sits in the back of a parking lot all day or night watching movies? But does anyone’s life count “more” than another’s?

The wind was blowing pretty hard that night, and the candles wouldn’t stay lit. The chief suggested that folks turn on the flashlights on their phones instead. What resulted was a beautiful sea of light to honor this exceptional officer.

I cried and cried – not because I knew Castaneda – but because yet another person who had compassion and went above-and-beyond had been taken way too soon. Those traits are hard to find these days.

Remember when customer service existed everywhere? Remember when employees cared about your experiences in their stores? Remember when people would stop to help other folks in distress?

Those days are long gone, and so to lose someone who loved his job, had compassion for his fellow human beings and went farther than necessary to give a helping hand to people he didn’t even know was just another blow to the things we used to cherish, and want to cherish again.

RIP AJ Castaneda. End of Watch: June 7, 2019

They’ll take it from here, brother.

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Chief identifies ‘model police officer’ killed in Grand Prairie crash: ‘Our city is hurting’

By Sarah Sarder, Loyd Brumfield and LaVendrick Smith

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Grand Prairie police Officer A.J. Castaneda served in the department for five years. He is the third officer in the department’s history to die in the line of duty. (Grand Prairie Police Department)

A Grand Prairie police officer was killed Friday after a crash threw him off an overpass on the Bush Turnpike, police said.

Officer Albert “A.J.” Castaneda, 38, was running radar while standing outside his SUV parked on the inside shoulder of the Dickey Road overpass around 10:40 a.m., Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye said in a news conference Friday afternoon.

The driver of a Nissan 300ZX heading north on the turnpike lost control and struck Castaneda’s vehicle, throwing Castaneda to the ground about 20 feet below, police said.

Read more from Dallas News…

Grapevine Police Locate SUV of Missing Woman

PRESS RELEASE

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Joyce Payne

Investigators have located the SUV belonging to a woman reported missing in Grapevine two weeks ago. After multiple searches throughout the city and lake area, a team using sonar equipment at Grapevine Lake identified a vehicle submerged nearly 400 feet from the shoreline. 

Dive teams confirmed that the make, model, and license plate number match the vehicle owned by 66-year-old Joyce Payne. Due to the depth of the SUV and murkiness of the water, police have not yet been able to confirm if Payne is inside the vehicle.  

Police and fire personnel will remain on scene until the SUV can be removed from the water.  Grapevine detectives are in contact with Payne’s family, and have made them aware of the vehicle’s discovery. The Payne family is asking for privacy at this time as they await more information.

Grapevine Police thank the public for helping search for Mrs. Payne.  Any updates on the case will be made after the vehicle is recovered.

National Police Week 2019

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Mayor Tate has declared this week (May 12 – 18) as Police Week and May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day in Grapevine. Be sure to thank a police officer today!

Police Week Proclamation

National Dispatcher Appreciation Week

This week is the time to recognize and thank our community 9-1-1 dispatchers! Thank you for your service!

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Pearland’s longest-serving Chief of Police dead after almost 40 years of service

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FUNERAL UPDATE BELOW

Pearland, Texas’s longest-serving Chief of Police, J.C. Doyle, unexpectedly passed away yesterday, April 3, 2019. He had recently retired in 2018.

Doyle served with the Pearland Police Department since 1979.

In his time with the department, he served as a patrol and motorcycle office, detective, patrol sergeant, lieutenant and later as the commander for a multi-agency Special Weapons and Tactics team.

From 1994-1999, Doyle served as Assistant Chief of Police under the direction of P.M. Hogg. Doyle succeeded Hogg as Chief.

He served as Chief from 1999 until his retirement in 2018, making him the longest-serving chief in the department’s 50-year history.

Chief Doyle was instrumental in acquiring and implementing the state of the art radio system and laptop system currently being used by the department.

He will be greatly missed. 

[Fact source: The Reporter News]

[Editor’s Note: We at The Grapevine Source, especially because our beginning was in Pearland, wishes all involved peace and healing. You will all be in our prayers.]

UPDATE: 

  • Visitation: Sunday, April 7, 2019 at Niday Funeral Home, 12440 Beamer Road, Houston, TX 77089
  • Funeral Service: Monday, April 8, 2019 at Sagemont Church, 11300 S. Sam Houston Parkway East (Beltway 8), Houston, TX 77089

**No procession after the service**