Tag Archives: First Responders

Pearland Islamic Center to host Annual Spring Carnival honoring local heroes

570296e34d428.imageEvery year, the Pearland Islamic Center hosts a Spring Carnival with a different theme each year. Last year’s theme was the Inter-Faith Peace Garden. It was a successful event attended by Christian Church leaders, Hindu temple representatives, Inter-Faith Ministries of Houston, Jewish Rabbis and city dignitaries, including Pearland Mayor Tom Reid.

This year the theme is, “Honoring our local Heroes,” including Pearland Police Department and Pearland Fire Department. St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church is co-sponsoring the event.

“Our ‘Honor our Heroes’ event will bring various faith traditions and city officials together to demonstrate our appreciation and support for the brave police officers and fire fighters in our community,” said Abul Azad, Director of the Pearland Islamic Center. “Moreover, it will be a wonderful opportunity to draw the public’s attention to the danger our first responders face every day while wearing the uniform.”

Bazaars, food, games, rides, bounce houses, mountain climbing, train rides, a petting zoo, Henna tattoos, face painting and balloon artists are just some of the attractions.

The entry fee wristband is $15 for unlimited fun.

The Carnival will be held on Saturday April 9 at the Pearland Islamic Center, located at 1530 Garden Rd.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1020892664650080/.

Brazoria County Cavalry Celebrates 8 Years

BC Cavalry


The Brazoria County Cavalry is inviting the public to the Eight Year Anniversary ceremony that will be held on Saturday Feb. 27 at the Lake Jackson Civic Center, located at 333 Hwy 332 in Lake Jackson, starting at 2:00 p.m.

Guest speakers will be Texas State Representative Dennis Bonnen and Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta. The Texas Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall will also be on display, presented by Rolling Thunder.

This is a free event. For more information, visit www.brazoriacountycavalry.org.

Pearland son establishes business for first responders, celebrates 13 years


Rick Fernandez

Former Pearland Police Officer Rick Fernandez felt driven to give back to the community outside the capacity of law enforcement. He felt this calling even during the ten years he served on the force.

“I’ve lived in Pearland all of my life,” said Fernandez, who is a Pearland High School graduate. “I loved my roles at the police department, but I just felt called to do something else, yet still serve my brothers and sisters in law enforcement.”

Fernandez spent five years on patrol and then the last four of his years at the agency as the Public Information Officer (PIO), serving as the “spokesperson” for the Pearland Police Department.

“The PIO position taught me a lot about business. I worked on public speaking, eye contact, posture and the like. I asked for feedback from the news crews that covered our press conferences,” Fernandez said.

His interest in business, law enforcement and the support of the community allowed him to open Cop Stop, which celebrated 13 years of business in May.

Contrary to popular belief, Cop Stop doesn’t sell coffee and donuts.

CSRightCop Stop’s vision and goal is to provide the best service to first responders, “Our everyday heroes.” Catering mainly to Police, Fire, Military and EMS, but also open to the public, Cop Stop offers a variety of products, gear and apparel.

“Cop Stop started out as a vision. I put my thoughts on paper. I didn’t have the money to open a storefront at the time until one day, my grandfather told me, ‘Just do it!’ and loaned me the money I needed! I was standing there in the living room and my ideas went from a vision to reality in an instant! My mother retired early so she could help work the counter. This has been truly a family affair,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez says he’s still a cop at heart. “People ask me if I miss being in law enforcement. I do miss the brotherhood and the camaraderie, but honestly, I still see a lot of the same people. Plus, I get to meet new people in the Greater Houston area. We are blessed to have contracts from all over the state, as well as Louisiana,” he said.

Fernandez says the foundation of his business is relying on God and integrity. “Integrity is a very important word; it’s everything. It’s how we earn and keep customers,” he said.

Fernandez measures all potential employees by how he or she matches up to Fernandez’s vision and standard of integrity. “A company is only successful because of the people that work there. Employees that come in early and stay late are the backbone of good customer service,” he said.

Fernandez said that while he’s looking to open a second location soon, he never considered anywhere but Pearland for his flagship store. “Pearland is home. It’s my community. I wanted to stay local and give back to the people who have given me so much,” he said.

Group copy

Fernandez (third from left) presents Officer DaSilva the Above and Beyond Award, along with the 100 Club of Pearland

Cop Stop has teamed with the 100 Club of Pearland to sponsor the quarterly “Above and Beyond” Award given to a Pearland Peace Officer who assists the community during his or her off-duty time. Fernandez provides a gift card to go with the wooden plaque that is presented to each Officer of the Quarter.

“It’s a privilege to co-sponsor the Above and Beyond Award,” said Fernandez. “The 100 Club of Pearland is dear to me because of my background and what it stands for, which is peace of mind.”


100 Club of Pearland merchandise

Fernandez also stocks 100 Club of Pearland merchandise in Cop Stop.

Fernandez added Scrub Source to the Cop Stop family four years ago. “We offer specialty items for businesses, such as heat transfers, embroidery and alterations,” Fernandez explained. And, of course, they sell scrubs.

Fernandez said that Cop Stop/Scrub Source is now hiring for three salesperson positions and one seamstress. Interested parties can apply in the store, located at 831 Broadway St., Suite F.

As for the future, it looks bright for Fernandez. He hopes to open a gun range that will meet the specific needs of law enforcement officers, as well as a second location, in the next year or two.

To learn more about Cop Stop, visit CopStop.com.

For more information about the Above and Beyond Award, visit 100ClubOfPearland.org.


Chief Henry Porretto Retires from the Galveston Police Department

Chief Henry Porretto tendered notice of his retirement from the Galveston Police Department effective October 30, 2015. He will be on leave until that date. This will have no impact on Department Operations as an interim leadership structure is already in place. As a result of the Chief’s retirement, the inquiry dealing with the existing Title VII matter ends.

The City will conduct a comprehensive search for a new Chief to ensure the best possible pool of candidates. The search will begin in the coming days.

Porretto’s Resignation Letter is below:

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 4.34.14 PM

Warrants detail events leading up to arrest for deputy’s murder


Deputy Darren Goforth, EOW: 8/28/15

The Harris County District Clerk’s Office has released copies of warrants related to Shannon Miles, the man accused of killing Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth.

The warrants detail the initial search for a suspect in the hours after Goforth was murdered while putting fuel into his patrol vehicle at a station at the corner of West and Telge roads. Goforth, 47, was a 10-year veteran with the sheriff’s office. The husband and father of two was pronounced dead at the scene Friday, Aug. 28.

Miles was first called into suspicion because of his vehicle. Initial questioning led to his admission that he owned a 40 caliber handgun, just like the one that killed Goforth. Finally, confirmation that a handgun found was the same one used to kill Goforth led to Miles’ arrest.

The first of two search warrants released by the Clerk’s Office indicate officers were looking for a firearm.

After first stopping by Miles’ home in the 8400 block of Lake Crystal Drive at 12:38 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, officers saw a red Ford Ranger in the driveway. They asked residents inside about the owner of the vehicle. Although not home at the time, it was confirmed that Miles was the owner.

Miles returned home while officers looked for him inside the home. It is noted in the warrant that officers had verbal permission to search for Miles inside. Miles was then asked about any handguns he owned. He admitted to owning a Smith and Wesson SD40 40 caliber gun. After the search warrant was issued to and signed by Magistrate Joe Licata at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, deputies returned to Miles’ home in northwest Harris County.

The loaded handgun along with two magazines and 34 rounds of ammunition were recovered. It was noted in the warrants that the box containing the ammunition was for 50 rounds and 15 shell cases were found at the crime scene.

A second search warrant, signed later in the afternoon of Aug. 29 by Magistrate Katherine Cabaniss, allowed for the search of various items of clothing and digital devices to determine where Miles was at various times. Among the items seized were six cell phones, a digital camera and three computers.

A final warrant, also signed by Cabaniss on the afternoon of Aug. 29, called for the arrest of Miles for the “felony offense of capital murder of a peace officer.” The arrest warrant was issued at 3:07 p.m. with the arrest being made at Miles’ home at 3:25 p.m.

Among the evidence cited in the warrant requests were:

Video surveillance footage of a man who resembled Miles’ appearance.

An eyewitness account of a man entering a red Ford Ranger pickup truck, including a “distinctive aftermarket trailer hitch.” Miles drove a similar truck.

A Harris County firearms examiner confirmation that the Smith and Wesson SD40 recovered in Miles’ home was the same weapon used to kill Goforth.

Miles is currently being held without bond in the Harris County Jail. His arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 5. His case is assigned to the 208th Criminal Court of Judge Denise Collins.

Galveston Police Chief Placed on Paid Administrative Leave

City Notified of Employment Issue, Moving Forward with Inquiry



(GALVESTON, TX) September 17, 2015 – On September 16th, Galveston Police Chief Henry Porretto was placed on paid administrative leave. The City received information regarding an employment issue and consistent with City practice, an inquiry will begin next week. An outside law firm, Lynn Ross Gannaway and Cranford, will conduct the inquiry. Chief Porretto has served as Police Chief since 2012. Prior, he served as Interim Police Chief from June of 2011 to July of 2012.

The City has named David Smith, a 35-year City employee, to serve as the Acting Police Chief until the inquiry has concluded. David is an active commissioned law enforcement officer and serves as the Director of Fleet Services, managing Island Transit, the municipal garage, and special events. Prior to becoming the Director of Fleet Services, David served as a Galveston Police Officer for 16 years.


DSC_0339-243x300(Reporter News) – For the amount of activity happening at the firefighters training facility in League City Saturday, it was a somber occasion.

With a moment of silence scheduled at exactly 9:59 a.m. and again at 10:28 a.m., the fifth annual Memorial Stair Climb ended at noon with a rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

Held in locations across the country, first responders, firefighters and citizens annually climb 110 stories in remembrance of those who died when the 110 stories of the twin towers of the World Trade Center fell on Sept. 11, 2001.

DSC_0633-700x480Read more…

Trooper hit by car during vehicle search near Manvel

A DPS trooper was injured Wednesday (Sept. 16) morning when he was struck by a vehicle along CR 58 near CR 48 near Manvel.

Officials say the trooper was assisting a colleague with a vehicle search when another car struck him.

He was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital and is reported to be in stable condition.

Heroes Run raises money for first responders

LadderFlagUSEThe 9/11 Houston Heroes Run was held Saturday (Sept. 12) at Ellington Airport. The largest Heroes Run in the state, it was attended by veterans, first responders, civilians and members of the military. This year’s event was the largest in the Run’s 5-year history.

The 9/11 Heroes Run unites communities internationally with the goal to never forget the sacrifices of the heroes of September 11 and in the wars since.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF), which was founded shortly after the death of First Lt. Travis Manion in Iraq on April 29, 2007. The fallen Marine’s mother, the late Janet Manion, established the Travis Manion Foundation to, “Assist the nation’s veterans and families of the fallen. TMF engages with veterans and families of the fallen in all stages of their personal journeys and offers them unique opportunities to empower them to achieve their goals. TMF believes that the best way to honor the fallen is by challenging the living. TMF challenges veterans and survivors to lead the, ‘If Not Me, Then Who…’ movement and inspire others to continue the service to community and country exemplified by the nation’s fallen heroes,” according to the website.

Many local agencies were represented at the Run, including Galena Park Fire, Houston Police Dept., Texas Department of Safety, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, League City Police Dept., Pearland Police Dept. and all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Several firefighters ran the race in full gear.

Officer Robert Manzo and wife Katie, Sgt. Derek Dunham, Christine O'Neil, Officer Chad O'Neil, Joanne Whitely and Officer Ryan Whitely (not pictured: Officer Jennifer Wozniak)

Officer Robert Manzo and wife Katie, Sgt. Derek Dunham, Christine O’Neil, Officer Chad O’Neil, Joanne Whitely and Officer Ryan Whitely (not pictured: Officer Jennifer Wozniak)

Pearland Police Dept. Running Team members Officer Chad O’Neil, Sergeant Derek Dunham, Officers Robert Manzo, Ryan Whitely and Jennifer Wozniak represented the City during the 5k race.

“It was a great experience, with overwhelming support shown for local military and first responders,” said Sgt. Dunham. “It made it even more special to be able to represent the Pearland Police Dept. with a team of fellow officers that are also veterans, alongside their families and friends.”

GoforthUSEThe Harris County Sheriff’s Office ran with a banner in tribute to their fallen brother, Deputy Darren Goforth, who was shot and killed while filling up his vehicle with gas on August 28.

The event was emceed by local DJ Scott Sparks, who was representing 107.5 The Eagle. The Texas Flying Legends Museum FlyoverUSEsupplied a flyover before the event, and vendors from many agencies and first responder-supporter companies were on hand to give out information.

For more information about the Travis Manion Foundation, visit TravisManion.org.

Goforth Decal now available online

il_570xN.830980052_fh0b100% of the money raised with the sales of the “United We Goforth” car decal/sticker will be DONATED TO KATHLEEN GOFORTH.

The decals are 2.5 x 4 inches.

View/buy decals here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/247416660/united-we-goforth-car-decal?ref=shop_home_active_1