President's Blog

October Update

Happy Fall Alumni!

First off, I’d like to thank you all for the thoughts and prayers for Mark Andrews and his family; they were sincerely appreciative of the cards and well wishes extended by everyone. The best news is that they are all doing well, and Mark returned to work!

If you were unable to attend the meeting; I’m sure you have had a chance to review the September meeting minutes. The Gun Raffle was a tremendous success, and we were able to raise a significant amount of funds to support the HCSO. Combined with the cheeseburger fundraiser and two very appreciated private donations (@ $1,000 each), the HCCSAAA will be able to have a significant impact on assisting with needs of the HCSO.

We are always looking for ways we can assist with HCSO needs; one such need had been discussed with regards to uniforms for the Honor Guard; however, those funds were already included in the HCSO budget. There was another need for the Honor Guard that was a little more unconventional; however, important for rehearsing to honor the fallen. If you have not attended a LEO’s funeral service; it is a sincerely heartfelt outpouring of honor and appreciation for the LEO and for the ultimate sacrifice of that officer.

The HCSO Honor Guard is an escort for the casket at a LEO’s funeral, a guard of honor escort. It is important for the Honor Guard to practice for these occasions and try their best to emulate the actual event to ensure the utmost respect and honor is provided to the LEO who has perished. The Honor Guard is meticulous in their process and take their responsibility very seriously. That being said, Gary Anderson understood that the Honor Guard was in need of a ‘practice casket’ (yes, you read that correctly) and they were discussing how to pay for one. They were each considering pitching in to purchase a casket for rehearsing. Gary let them know that was something the HCCSAAA could assist with and so the Alumni stepped in and donated the funds to purchase the casket at cost from a local funeral home.

The fact that the Honor Guard has the ability to use an actual casket is very beneficial to their run-throughs as it gives them not only a good idea of the size, weight, and maneuverability of what they will encounter during an actual event; but it assists with the reality of the moment. Practicing with a real casket helps to ensure the actual ceremony goes as smoothly and as honorably as possible. The Honor Guard was extremely appreciative of the HCCSAAA’s assistance with this purchase and Gary shared their thank you note at the meeting. I know this may seem like an unusual purchase; however, considering what the Honor Guard does to honor the fallen, I am sincerely grateful the HCCSAAA was able to step in and purchase this for them. Thank you!

We have asked to have the Honor Guard added to our list of guest speakers as it would be nice to hear about what they do. If possible, we look forward to having them visit with us at a future meeting!

The HCCSAAA Brochure was well-received at the meeting, and we hope to get it circulating in the community to bring awareness as to who we are and what we do. It was mentioned that we may need to look at including and/or suggesting an additional insert or separate brochure to promote the Hays County Citizens Sheriff’s Academy; I have reached out to Lt. Gutierrez to discuss further and will update as I know more. Additionally, it was brought to our attention that the HCSO does in fact participate in a “Coffee with a Cop” scenario; I have inquired about that as well and hope to have additional information to share at our next meeting.

I don’t have anything new to share on the Trophy Case other than the craftsman, David Hoag, has run into several delays while trying to secure vendor pricing for the tempered glass. As of today, my latest contact with him was on 10/2/21 when he shared that he has never seen a market like this; whereas he leaves messages for vendors and doesn’t receive a call back. He has contacted multiple vendors and is just not getting any response. He is determined to locate someone who will provide the information needed so we can move forward with the project. I will continue to provide updates as received.

The PSB Greeters did a fantastic job in September! Greeters also assisted by meticulously folding the HCCSAAA brochures which helped tremendously in having them ready for distribution! The October sign-up is up and running, we are a bit slow-out-of-the-gates this month; but I do see that there are a few slots filled; if you are a greeter or would like to be a greeter, please take a look at the October sign-up and volunteer to work if your schedule permits.

We are awaiting further information regarding the HCSO Community Outreach event on October 16th that Bruce Harlan discussed at the September meeting. It was understood that volunteers may be needed to assist with this event; a sign-up will be sent out as soon as we know more specifics.

If interested, the information for 2022 TCPAAA Convention Gary Anderson discussed at the meeting is available at:

The Strike Team Scenario Training was awesome! Thank you to those who were able to volunteer to help out; the assistance was greatly appreciated and provided valuable training for the Strike Team. Volunteers had the opportunity to ‘act’ as protestors not only inside the courtroom but outside as well. The drone team was there and had three drones up and running and catching all the action; it was interesting to see what role they played in assisting the officers. It was not only a learning experience for the Strike Team, but Alumni members also learned a great deal! We have asked Bruce Harlan to see if we can get the drone team added to our guest speaker list and possibly view the footage from the training scenario so members can see what these types of training opportunities are all about. They are not only fun; they are extremely beneficial in providing ‘real life’ scenarios for training.

I’m excited about our guest speaker for the October 19th meeting; albeit, at this time, we don’t know who the actual presenter will be due possible scheduling changes. What we do know is that we will have someone from the Secret Service speaking with us; more information will be provided as known… At this time, it is… Wait for i-i-i-t-t-t…………. SECRET! LOL. I couldn’t resist!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the meeting! Enjoy this beautiful ‘fall’ weather!

Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association