President’s Blog (January 2024)

Presidents’ Blog
January 23, 2024

It is now 2024 and I am once again serving as President for the Alumni Association this year. I thank you for the vote of confidence to lead this amazing group onward this year, and since my last blog was July 31, 2023, I will try to fill in the blanks for the remainder of 2023.

Jack Diamond, Marketing and Fundraising Chairman, presented the Million Dollar Loteria Raffle at the July meeting which would serve as our fall fundraiser. The three winners whose names were drawn on October 2nd, had the opportunity to win up to one million dollars, plus a $50 VISA gift card. Each of the winners won more than $150 by scratching off the twenty-five $25 Loteria raffle tickets they were given, but unfortunately none of them were able to claim a one million dollar prize. We sold 721 raffle tickets, which generated us a net profit of $10,941. Many thanks to those of you who purchased raffle tickets, sold tickets to friends and relatives, and a special thanks to those of you who were ticket sellers at the various selling locations over the hot summer months. In 2023, our total fundraising efforts generated a net profit of $20,206. As Jack always says, “It takes ALL OF US”, so thanks again to all of you!

In July, our Secretary, Delta Kirchner, and her husband sold their home in San Marcos and relocated to Johnson City. Despite still being fully employed, Delta took on the Secretary position for 2023 and did a wonderful job. However, now living in Blanco County, and still working, it had become difficult for her to attend our monthly meetings. She asked if it were possible to find a replacement to complete her unexpired term as Secretary and MaryAnn Parker graciously accepted the nomination. A huge thanks to MaryAnn for her awesome job taking the minutes and sending out the SignUp Genius volunteer requests for the last few months of 2023.

The current membership voted to table a possible HCSO history showcase for the front lobby of the PSB at this time. We did purchase a couple of large artificial plants to sit on either side of the current lobby trophy case to spruce up the focal point when you enter the building. We are now looking into purchasing a climate controlled CONEX cargo container in place of the two storage units that the Alumni and HCSO Community Outreach are currently renting monthly. These two storage units hold the three large grills we use for our cheeseburger plate fundraisers each year, all the supplies for our cooking and food serving, plus supplies for Brown Santa and The Sunshine Kids. The first step before we can move ahead with a possible purchase is to secure a location where this CONEX could be connected to power. This is an ongoing project that we have set as a funding priority in 2024.

The Sheriff’s Office held two Citizens Academies in 2023 (spring and fall) and the Alumni sponsored graduation parties at the PSB for both classes upon the completion of each academy. A majority of the students from each academy became members of the Alumni and we were thrilled to add them to our ever growing list of members and look forward to getting to know these new members as this year progresses.

The Holiday Lock-Up on December 1st at the Government Center to benefit the Brown Santa Program was a roaring success this year, bringing in the largest amount of funds ever collected due to the big number of “lock-ups” and the bonds that were set. The Alumni funds the cost of the luncheon for this event every year, and also acts as the servers. Italian Garden made the wonderful pasta dishes and rolls, Texas Roadhouse provided the delicious garden salad, and Palmer’s green beans were such a hit, we ran out! Thanks to all of you who were involved in the days’ fun activities.

Once HCSO Community Outreach secured the warehouse for Brown Santa to operate out of this year, many of the alumni assisted in cleaning, organizing, and sorting toys to prepare for the big gift wrapping day on Saturday, December 9th. The amount of people who show up to give of their time and talents each year to wrap all these gifts is truly amazing. The warehouse literally turns into Santa’s Workshop for a few hours, and the excitement among all the “elves” is palpable. Many volunteers were called into service the following Saturday, December 16th to assist in the distribution of all the wrapped gifts and bags of food. Twenty-six teams were created to deliver to 525 families this year, with over 1,700 children, making this year the largest number of families ever served. A rousing applause to every person who donated their time, talent, and/or funds to assist with this program.

After 36 years of service with the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Dennis Gutierrez retired on December 29th. The Community Outreach Secretary, Irene Hernandez also retired that day after 17 years of service with HCSO. A lovely retirement reception was held at the PSB on December 28th to celebrate these two retirees. At that time, Lt. Gutierrez was presented with a soft-sided gun case, gift card to Cabela’s, and also a gift card for the restaurant TasTe on Main, thanks to generous donations from Alumni members. We wish Lt. Gutierrez and Miss Irene a very well deserved retirement!

In place of our December meeting, we held our annual Holiday Social at Ivar’s River Pub on Tuesday, December 12th. There were 33 in attendance – both Alumni members and guests, who got to know some of our newest members, enjoyed some good food and drink, and participate in a gift exchange. All in all, I believe a fun evening was had by all.

Lastly, I would like to remind everyone of some important facts during this upcoming political season. Many of you will want to start supporting your local politician by attending events, working polls, and numerous other ways to express to others who you believe is the best candidate. Please remember, the HCCSAAA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and as such, we are restricted against supporting any political candidate. I know none of you wants to be responsible for our organization losing its nonprofit status with the IRS, so please be aware of these policies and rules:

  • You are welcome to support and attend any support function of any candidate of your choice, however you need to do that as an individual. Please do not introduce yourself in a way that is construed as your membership in HCCSAAA is endorsing a political candidate.
  • Please do not wear any HCCSAAA apparel while attending any political function, working polls, political fundraisers, or anything else specifically supporting a candidate. Do not mix political support items with your Alumni apparel – we cannot wear a political hat, patch, shirt, jacket, lanyard, or anything similar while wearing HCCSAAA apparel items such as our shirt or Alumni ID badge.

I would like to express my thanks again for all your support, dedication, and time during 2023 to promote and enhance the Hays County Citizens Sheriff’s Academy Alumni Association. I look forward to another very productive, educational, and exciting year in 2024 as we all work together to continue to strengthen our commitment specifically to HCSO and it’s projects, but also to all law enforcement within Hays County. If you haven’t been an Alumni member before, or if you have let your membership lapse (many did during COVID), consider joining forces with a hard working, dedicated, fun volunteer group and contact either myself or our Treasurer, Gary Anderson ( or 512-393-7792 PSB office #) to pay your annual $20
membership dues.



National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (2023)
Adopt-a-Dispatcher (2023)
From Kimberli Andrews (SOLE):
National Telecommunications Week is April 9th – 15th. Have you ever wondered what exactly a 911 Dispatcher does, endures during a shift, hears and handles? Let me be the first to say they are some of the true heroes of law enforcement! We would like to adopt each of our 911 Dispatchers and show them some love on the week dedicated special for them!

Here is how you can be a part:

💙 You can adopt 1 dispatcher or as many as you would like. Once you commit we will assign a dispatcher or dispatchers to you.

💙 Fill an 8×10 gift bag with the items on the graphic, at the minimum. You can do more but it has to fit in an 8×10 gift bag. NO HOMEMADE FOOD ALLOWED!

💙 Our dispatchers LOVE handmade cards, especially from your kiddos!

💙 Once you have your gift bag ready, drop it off to one of the noted drop off locations listed below. Drop off locations are in Buda, Wimberley, San Marcos, Dripping Springs and Kyle.

💙 If you run a club, such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc., and would like your entire club to help, we have a special task we would like to assign your club to help with. Message Megan Jones for more details.

💙 April 10th is the deadline to drop off your gift bag to one of our designated locations.

💙 Our team will deliver the gift bags to each dispatch on April 11th or 12th.

💙 Comment below or send Megan Jones an email ( with your email, name and contact number if you are interested in adopting a dispatcher and we will then assign a dispatcher as well as provide you with more details.

💙 Gift Bag Drop off locations (business hours apply)
**San Marcos – Hays County PSB — 810 S Stagecoach Trail
**Kyle – Kyle Police Department — 111 N Front St.
**Dripping Springs – Pct 4 Constable — 195 Roger Hanks Pkwy #3
**Wimberley – Pct 3 Constable — 200 Stillwater Rd., Ste. 106
**Buda – Buda Police Department — 405 Loop St., Ste. 200

💙 We hope you will join us in showering our 911 Dispatchers with the love they deserve! Their jobs are hard but fulfilling!!! What would we do without them?


Volunteer Opportunity: TSA Canine Training

From Jack Diamond, HCCSAAA Marketing Committee Chair:
I have been contacted by Mr. William Ashby, Program Assistant, Transportation Security – Canine Office of Security Operations at Austin-Bergstorm International Airport who is seeking volunteers to participate in their Decoy Program. Last year twelve HCCSAAA members visited the TSA Canine Training Facility at Lackland AFB. Being able to see how the canines and their handlers are trained was amazing. Upon graduation, each canine and handler are assigned to a specific airport to detect various types of explosives.

Both the canine and handler continue their training at each airport and the TSA uses volunteers to act as decoys. Anyone may volunteer for this program as long as they are 18 years or older. If you are interested in volunteering for the Decoy Program I have attached additional information about the program. If you are interested you may contact Mr. Ashby directly.


Lackland AFB: TSA Canine Training Session

On October 25th, eight Alumni members traveled to the TSA Canine Training Center at Lackland AFB to observe how the dogs and their handlers are trained. The TSA National Explosives Detection Canine program trains and deploys both TSA-led and state and local law enforcement-led canine teams in support of day-to-day activities that protect the transportation domain. These highly trained explosives detection canine teams are a reliable resource at detecting explosives and provide a visible deterrent to terrorism directed towards transportation systems.

TSA trains canine teams to operate in the aviation, multimodal, maritime, mass transit, and cargo environments. Considered the “center for excellence” for explosives detection canine training, the program is the largest explosive detection canine program in the Department of Homeland Security and the second largest in the federal government after the Department of Defense.


National EMS Week (05/17-05/23)

May 17-23, 2020, is the 46th annual National EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Week. In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation’s communities. EMS Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s “front line” and is the perfect time to recognize EMS and all that its practitioners do for our nation.

Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler and the entire Hays County Sheriff’s Office want to thank and recognize all of the EMT’s, Paramedics, and EMS employees in Hays County. We truly have the best of the best!


National Police Week: Heroes Live Forever

Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler wishes to acknowledge and thank the men and women of the Hays County Sheriff’s Office especially this week, National Police Week 2020. Sheriff Cutler is very proud of the hard and professional work the officers of the Sheriff’s Office demonstrate each and every day.

With the recent line of duty death of San Marcos Police Officer Justin Putnam, the realization that these officers put their life on the line is all too familiar and much too close to home. Officer Putnam is a hero that made the ultimate sacrifice serving and protecting the community of San Marcos.

National Police Week is from May 10 to May 16 this year. 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.

The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events that attract thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation’s Capital each year. Unfortunately, vigils and memorial services that are typically well attended have been scaled back or cancelled this year because of Covid-19. Nonetheless, we hope you will join in remembering the fallen officers during this 2020 National Police Week.


Newest HCCSAAA Information and Sponsorship Letter


These are some truly different times that I am writing this compared to just a few weeks ago. I have waited to send this out because of the drastically changing situation the world is experiencing right now and the constantly changing “rules” that we all have to follow now. None of us has ever gone through anything like this before and I hope and pray that it will end soon and none of you get it.

As far as we as a group are concerned right now, pretty much everything at this point has been indefinitely put on hold and/or canceled.

Thanks to everyone that came out and helped at the motorcycle chute out. It was a huge success and helped get our name and message out to several people.

We were supposed to help out at the next BPOC graduation on April 2 and that has been canceled. They are not even going to have a cake and are doing the graduation in a classroom with very limited people in attendance.

We were supposed to have a spaghetti fundraiser in April and a cheeseburger one in May for the Sunshine Kids(SSK). Those have both been postponed/dare I say canceled.

I had heard (3 weeks ago) that SSK was going to happen even if it was going to just be SSK from our local area/Texas.

I just got word a couple days ago of this…..

As of right now, our 30th Sunshine Kids Texas Hill Country Adventure is still scheduled for June 1-7. Please know that we are considering rescheduling the trip for later this summer. If that decision is made, you will be the first people we reach out to regarding. Please know that this decision will be made with the help of a team of pediatric oncologists AND through consultation with friends in the greater San Marcos community.

New update(yesterday)- We have finally confirmed with Jennifer from SSK that the Hill Country Adventure is still a go. It will more than likely be local kids from within 3 hours of here or possibly just the ATX/SA area. It may be postponed until August even. We have to see when this pandemic ends as well as when the hotel will be available for them.
So as far as getting sponsors for the kids, please go ahead with this and reach out to anyone you can think of that would like to sponsor a kid this year. We have a new sponsorship letter this year (attached) that has been run up the chain and approved by the Sheriff’s Office. Please know that YOU can be a sponsor as well.

I’m sorry I don’t have more definite answers for lots of things right now. I will send out more updates on things as I am given them. For now, our April meeting is also canceled.

Also, just FYI, the next Citizens Sheriff’s Academy had already been previously canceled, but it would have been anyways with this pandemic. So we will not be having a graduation in May for our potential new members. Hopefully the class will eventually be rescheduled.

Y’all, please practice social distancing and stay healthy. Looking forward to when we can meet as a group again.

If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Andy Hentschke

Link to Sunshine Kids Sponsorship Letter (.PDF)


Press Release: 2013 Brown Santa


The Hays County Brown Santa program has started its annual drive for money, food, and toys to assist families in need in Hays County. The program consists of volunteers from the Hays County Sheriff’s Office and members of the community. Brown Santa seeks donations from local businesses and citizens for toys, canned goods and money. Last year over 850 families were given assistance in food and/or toys in Hays County.

Brown Santa is accepting new toys for children up to the age of 16. Any toy that is already gift-wrapped needs to have a tag that identifies the toy, age group, and if it is for a male or female. Toys can also be picked up from your residence or business if convenient. Money contributions in the form of a check or money order made payable to “Brown Santa” can be mailed to:

Brown Santa
P.O. Box 1475
San Marcos, TX 78667

The deadline for accepting unwrapped toys will be December 13, 2013 and for wrapped toys December 16, 2013. All toys will be wrapped on December 14, 2013 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. Children are welcome in the warehouse to help out!

Deputies and helpers will be delivering the toys and food on Saturday December 21, 2013 from 7:00 am until approximately 12:00 noon. Any family requesting assistance from Brown Santa can sign up in the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office or at one of the locations below. The deadline for accepting applications will be December 12, 2013 at 5:00 pm. Those interested in assisting in the Brown Santa program or making a cash donation may contact Lieutenant Dennis Gutierrez at 512-393-7877. Brown Santa would like to wish the citizens of Hays County a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    San Marcos:

  • Hays County Sheriff’s Office (1307 Uhland Road)
  • Southside Community Center (518 S. Guadalupe St)
  • Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union
  • Austin Telco Federal Credit Union (904 Bugg Lane)

  • Pct 2 Justice of the Peace Beth Smith (5458 FM 2770)
  • Fox Pizza (147 Elmhurst Drive)
  • Plum Creek Self Storage (5500 FM 2770)

  • Pct 5 Justice of the Peace Scott Cary (500 Jack C. Hays Trail)
  • Buda City Hall (121 Main Street)
  • Austin Telco Federal Credit Union (330 Old San Antonio Rd)
  • Falcon International Bank (1795 Main Street)

  • Pct 3 Justice of the Peace Andy Cable (14306 Ranch Road 12, Suite 11)
    Dripping Springs:

  • Pct 4 Justice of the Peace Terry Kyle (195 Roger Hanks Parkway)

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2013 Brown Santa Press Release (.PDF) link