2019 National NLPOA Award Recipients – September 7, 2019, St. Paul, MN
The NLPOA National Chapter is proud to announce the 2019 National NLPOA Award Recipient. These awards will be presented at our National Convention held on September 7th in St. Paul, MN.
2019 NLPOA Officer of the Year
National Latino Peace Officers Association 2019 NLPOA Officer of the Year Recipient
Officer Nicole Ortego Fulton nominated for the 2019 NLPOA Officer of the Year. Nicole Ortego-Fulton currently serves as the President of the NLPOA Northeast Kansas Chapter. Officer Ortego-Fulton is currently employed with the Kansas City Police Department Officer, Kansas. In April 2018, Sgt. Graves of the Kansas City, Kansas Police department stopped a van for a traffic violation.
During the stop the driver was being uncooperative and was asked to step out of the vehicle. The driver attempted to take off and Sgt. Graves was able to get the vehicle turned off and get the keys out. During the ensuing struggle Sgt. Graves requested code A backup and the driver was able to reach a Glock handgun with extended magazine and point it at Sgt. Graves. Sgt. Graves grabbed the mand arm and pushed it down before he could fire a shot. Officer Ortego-Fulton was first on scene to assist and went in through the passenger side. She held the drivers arm down and began striking him as he again reached for and grabbed the gun. Officer Ortego held the driver down until a 3rd officer arrived and was able to assist in ultimately subduing the driver and placing him under arrest. If not for Officer Ortego-Fulton, this incident may have resulted in deadly consequences.
On June 15, 2018, Deputies Rohrer and King of the Wyandotte County Sheriffs Department, Kansas, were shot by a prisoner during a court transport. One of the first officers on scene was Officer Ortego-Fulton. Nicole directed other officers to where the shooting had occurred and once making it to the area, along with two other officers, she pulled Deputy Rohrer out of the fenced in area so EMS could work on him. Officer Ortego-Fulton and the other officers did everything they could to help assist Deputy Rohrer, but he succumbed to his injuries.
In July 2018, Officer Ortego-Fulton received a call of a man passed out in his vehicle at an intersection. Upon arrival she found the man passed out behind the wheel with a gun in his lap. Officer Ortego-Fulton cordoned off the area. Nicole and other officers were able to prevent the driver from taking off and arrested him without incident.
These three (3) incidents, as well as Nicole’s continued commitment to her community, her law Enforcement Leadership and Commitment to Excellence, and her continued commitment to NLPOA goals, merits being selected the NLPOA 2019 Officer of the Year.
2019 NLPOA Latina of the Year
Arelis Rivera, Sgt. NLPOA Atlanta Chapter President Norcross Police Department, GA
Sgt. Arelis Rivera was selected as the 2019 Officer of the Year for her Commitment to Excellence and Community Engagement. Sgt. Rivera has been with the Norcross Police Department, Georgia for 8-years and currently serves as the Community Policing Sergeant. Arelis previously served 7-years as a Chicago Police Officer.
Arelis holds Bachelor’s degree in Communication and a Master’s in Education from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Norcross is 40 percent Hispanics. In addition to Arelis usual duties in the crime suppression unit, Arelis appears monthly on-air and discusses safety and police. “Sergeant Rivera is what Chief of Police Warren Summers referred to as the department’s secret weapon in connecting with the Hispanic population of the city.”
Sgt. Rivera and other officers assist the Gateway International Music and Food Festival. Now in its fourth year in Norcross. The November event brings together cultures from all over the world through food vendors, musicians, dances and more. The police department has teamed up with the Gwinnett Village Community Alliance to help program the festival and market it so that it truly brings everyone together. They’ve brought on dancers from Korea, Bulgaria and Ireland; there’s a popular salsa band performing. Sgt. Rivera helps run the Norcross Police’s Spanish Facebook page and Hispanic monolingual outreach. Sgt. Arelis Rivera is also one of the founding members of the NLPOA Atlanta Chapter and is the current Chapter President.
2019 NLPOA Leadership Awards
Yesenia Soto, Officer
National NLPOA Secretary
NLPOA Minnesota Chapter
Transit Police, MN
Yesenia Soto was born in Los Angeles California and grew up in Mexico. In 2001, her family moved back to United States and relocated in Austin, Minnesota. After she graduated from college in 2006, she was hired by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and served six years as a Detention Deputy. In January 2014, she was hired as a full time Police Officer with the Metro Transit Police Department.
Officer Soto has been part of the Metro Transit Everyday Equity Team, the MTPD working group of the final report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the Recruitment Team and the MTPD Honor Guard Team. She is a Field Training Officer, a Background Investigator and is currently assigned to the Juvenile Investigations Unit. In 2017, she was the recipient of a Lifesaving Award. In 2014, she joined the NLPOA MN Chapter and since 2016 she has been the Minnesota Chapter’s Vice President. She joined the National Board as the Secretary in 2018. Yesenia is an associate member of the Asian Peace Officers Association MN Chapter, the Minnesota Juvenile Officer’s Association and member of the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate First Responder Resource Group. Officer Yesenia Soto was selected to receive the NLPOA President’s Award for her leadership and work to keep the NLPOA as a Leading Law Enforcement Association in America.
National Latino Peace Officers Association®
2019 NLPOA President’s Award
Roy Garivey, Ret, Lt, Past National NLPOA President
Roy Garivey is a retired Lieutenant with the Houston Independent School District Police, Texas. Roy served as chapter president of the NLPOA Greater Houston Chapter, and as the Texas State President, as National Vice President and National Editor.
Roy was elected as the NLPOA National President and served from October 2006 to October 2008. Roy was selected to receive the NLPOA President’s Award for his leadership and work to keep the NLPOA as a Leading Law Enforcement Association in America.
2019 NLPOA Lifetime Membership Recipients
National Latino Peace Officers Association® 2019 NLPOA Lifetime Membership Recipient
Bill Martinez, Asst. Chief, Ret. St. Paul Police, MN
A Founding Member of the NLPOA Minnesota Chapter
NLPOA Member since 1994
Bill Martinez began his career as a part-time Mankato Park Ranger. In 1984, Bill moved to the Minnetonka Police Department in 1984, where he served for three years. Martinez earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Minnesota State University, Mankato. In 1987, Bill Martinez started his career at the St. Paul Police Department with a top-secret assignment and over nearly three decades, he ascended to the highest ranks. Bill worked undercover in narcotics, and even St. Paul officers didn’t know he was a fellow officer right away.
Bill Martinez served as St. Paul’s assistant police chief for investigations from 2012 through April 2016. Bill Martinez, who is Mexican American, made history along the way, becoming the highest-ranked Latino peace officer in the state, as far as he and the National Latino Peace Officers Association is aware of. Assistant Chief Martinez started his membership with the NLPOA in 1996. Bill co-founded the Minnesota chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association. Bill retired April 24, 2016. Born in Blue Earth, Minnesota, Bill remains in Minnesota and is an Adjunct Instructor. Bill Martinez was selected for his Leadership as a co-founder of the NLPOA Minnesota Chapter and for his Mentorship to the members of the NLPOA Minnesota Chapter.
NLPOA California State President
2010-2014 & 2018-2020
San Diego Police Department, California
NLPOA Member since 1998
Alan Alvarez has been an NLPOA San Diego Metro Chapter member since 1998. Alan started his career in February 1985 as a San Diego Police Officer, retiring after 31 years, in May 2016. Alan worked in patrol and recruitment. Alan served as the Terrorism Liaison Officer from 2002 through 2016. Alan has contributed significantly to the community by raising money for scholarships, “Shop-With-A Cop Chair,” membership committee chair, and chair of the Christmas Train Annual Giving serving over 6,000 children.
Alan was previously selected as the 2016 NLPOA Officer of the Year. Alan served as the NLPOA National Director of Governmental Affairs 2004-2010. Alan has served as the NLPOA Advocacy Chairman since 2017-2020. Alan has contributed significantly by increasing NLPOA membership and enhancing the NLPOA image.
Jose Hernandez, Sgt. NLPOA CC/Las Vegas Chapter, NV
Chapter President 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Depart., NV NLPOA Member since 1998
Jose Hernandez has been an NLPOA Clark County Chapter member since 1998. Jose has worked in patrol, has been the Public Information Officer, the Hispanic Recruitment Council, and is currently a Recruiting Sergeant. Jose has contributed significantly to the chapter raising money for scholarships, community engagement, chair of the membership committee, and chair of the Navidad en El Barrio Annual Giving. Jose has served as chapter president for the past three years.
Jose attended the College of Southern Nevada and the Nevada State College. Jose also proudly served in the United States Marine Corp 1992 – 1996.
Marco Alvarado, Officer
NLPOA CC/Las Vegas Chapter, NV
Former Chapter President, 2015 and 2015
Former NLPOA Nevada State President 2016 and 2017
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Depart., NV
NLPOA Member since 1998
Marco has been a continuous NLPOA Clark County Chapter member since 1998. Marco serves as a Corrections Officer. Marco has served as National Convention Chair, Vice President, Scholarship Chair, Recruitment Chair and Legal Defense Fundraising Chair, and Internal Affairs representative for the chapter. Marco has contributed significantly in increasing the NLPOA membership.
Lazaro (Laz) Chavez, Deputy Chief Former NLPOA Nevada State Chapter VP 1999 and 2000
Former Chapter Parliamentarian, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, NV NLPOA Member since 1996
Lazaro Chavez has been a member of the NLPOA since 1996. Deputy Chief Chavez is the Commander for the LVMPD Downtown Area Command. Deputy Chief Chavez started his career in 1989.
Laz has worked as a crisis negotiator, narcotics detective, robbery detective, Intelligence Unit, Financial Crimes Unit and now area Commander. Laz has served as numerous chapter board positions over the years and serves as the Training Chair for the 2005 National NLPOA Convention, Scholarship Chair, and Recruitment Chair.
Laz was promoted to Chief in August 2019.
Richard Gonzalez, Retired Captain, NLPOA Omaha Chapter, NE
Former National Vice President
Past Chapter President
NLPOA Omaha Chapter Secretary, Treasurer, President
Omaha Police Department, Nebraska
NLPOA Member since 1992
Richard “Rich” Gonzalez has been an NLPOA Omaha Chapter member since 1992. Rich Gonzalez, along with Tony Espejo, and others started the Police Athletics for Community Engagement (PACE) youth nonprofit in South Omaha. Rich began his career in 1992 as an Omaha Police Officer, retiring as a Captain in June 2017. Gonzalez worked in patrol, narcotics, and recruitment.
Rich has contributed significantly to the chapter by raising money for scholarships, raising money for the PACE Program, membership committee chair, and the Annual Giving program. Rich has served as the NLPOA National Vice President and served in every position on the NLPOA Omaha Chapter Board of Directors. Rich has contributed significantly by increasing NLPOA membership and enhancing the NLPOA image.
Ruben Z. Diaz, Retired Asst. Sheriff
Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Dept., CA
Past National NLPOA President 1983, 1984, 1993 and 1994
NLPOA Fresno County Chapter President, CA, 2015-2019
Former member of the NLPOA Santa Clara Chapter, CA
Foster City Police Department
NLPOA Member since 1976
Ruben has been a member of the (N) LPOA since 1976. Ruben has served in numerous board positons on the Chapter, State, and National level, Under Ruben’s leadership, we became the NLPOA and a National Organization. Ruben started a Corrections Officer in 1970, in Visalia, California. Ruben moved onto to be a police officer in 1971, in Milpitas, California. In 1973, Ruben transferred to Foster City Police Department, California.
In 1990, Ruben went on to work as a Sheriff’s Deputy for the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, California. Moving up the ranks, Ruben retired as Assistant Sheriff. Ruben has mentored many officers and members. Ruben Diaz was elected as the (N)LPOA President in 1982, lost re-election in 1983, and went on to be elected National NLPOA President in 1984, 1985, 1993, and again in 1994, serving 5-years.
Ruben now serves as the NLPOA Fresno County Chapter President providing thousands of dollars on scholarships and community engagement events. Ruben has contributed significantly in the growth and image of the National Latino Peace Officers Association.