Brownwood Police Department News

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Steve

Brownwood, TX

#1 Jul 18, 2007
Brownwood officer faces sex assault charges

Three-week investigation unveiled possible relationship with 15-year-old

By Celinda Emison
Wednesday, July 18, 2007

BROWNWOOD - A longtime Brownwood police officer who started a law enforcement program for teenagers faces a charge of sexual assault of a child.

According to reports from the Texas Rangers, Sgt. Vince Ariaz, was arrested at 6:25 a.m. Tuesday at the Brownwood Coliseum Annex, the former location of the Brownwood Police Department. He was arrested shortly after he went off duty.

Ariaz, 53, was taken to the Brown County Jail on Tuesday afternoon. Bond was set at $250,000 by Justice of the Peace Bryan Thompson. He also was suspended from duty.

Police Chief Virgil Cowin called the arrest a ''sad day'' for the Brownwood police.

Ariaz started the Brownwood Police Explorers program in 2000. As a post adviser for the program, which teaches young people about law enforcement work, Ariaz supervised 26 members, both male and female, between the ages of 14 to 21, according to the Explorers program Web site.

Brownwood police investigator Troy Carroll said a three-week investigation unveiled a possible relationship between Ariaz and a 15-year-old female member of the Explorers. A report was submitted to the Texas Rangers.

A report by Texas Ranger Nick Hanna indicated Ariaz was engaged in a sexual act with a 15-year-old female when investigators entered the coliseum annex Tuesday morning.

The Texas Rangers report indicates a number of other offenses may result from the investigation.

Evidence from the investigation includes video surveillance and information from a GPS tracking device.

Brownwood police were assisted by the Brown County Sheriff's Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the West Texas Interlocal Crime Tax Force.

Ariaz was among four officers who ran for police chief against Cowin in 2006. Cowin defeated all four challengers, with Ariaz coming in fourth place. Brownwood is one of just a handful of Texas cities that elects a police chief.

Ariaz has worked for the Brownwood police for the past 17 years. He previously worked for the Lubbock County Sheriff's Department and the Colorado City and Slaton police departments. According to the Explorer Web site, Ariaz has received several officer of the year awards throughout his career.

The investigation continues.

Ariaz is the second Brownwood police officer to be arrested in the past year. Britt Brownlee was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison on drug charges following his July 2006 arrest during a drug sweep.

source: http://www.reporternews.com/news/2007/jul/18/...

City of Brownwood Police Department: http://www.ci.brownwood.tx.us/pdindex.htm

Law Enforcement Explorer Post 1150:
http://www.bpdexplorerpost1150.org/
Steve

Brownwood, TX

#2 Jul 18, 2007
Brownwood Police Chief, Virgil Cowin, on this mornings KXYL "The Big Show" with JR Williams and Mike Cope discussing the case of Brownwood Police Officer Vince Ariaz. Q: How long has the rumor spoke of on this mornings show been floating around Brownwood ? The most interesting quote to me was the comment by KXYL's Mike Cope that they did not want to try this case in the press. I don't recall them making the same comment as they pontificated frequently on the case of Brownwood Marine Eddie Gomez ! Let's roll the tapes of those on air comments and discussions !
J R the talking head

Brownwood, TX

#3 Jul 19, 2007
nothing funnier than you wanting comments and discussions......and will never call in and discuss. it real simple ANY TOPIC YOU, THE MAN ,THE KNOW ALL ON ALL can call and make your topic the topic.

p.s. if a cop tells you do something maybe you should do it!
Steve

Brownwood, TX

#4 Jul 19, 2007
J R the talking head wrote:
nothing funnier than you wanting comments and discussions......and will never call in and discuss. it real simple ANY TOPIC YOU, THE MAN ,THE KNOW ALL ON ALL can call and make your topic the topic.
p.s. if a cop tells you do something maybe you should do it!
All bias in the media is local ! Glad your entertained as well ! You appear to be the one who is "THE KNOW ALL ON ALL" as you still refuse to bring on to your show those you charged with passing the worst legislation ever written !
Preach on Brother !
Steve

Brownwood, TX

#5 Jul 19, 2007
Thursday July 19, 2007
News

Second victim in Ariaz case

By Steve Nash — Brownwood Bulletin

Authorities added a second charge against Vince Ariaz Wednesday in connection with a second alleged victim, officials said.

source: http://www.brownwoodbulletin.com/articles/200...
Steve

Brownwood, TX

#6 Jul 19, 2007
Steve wrote:
Thursday July 19, 2007
News
Second victim in Ariaz case
By Steve Nash — Brownwood Bulletin
Authorities added a second charge against Vince Ariaz Wednesday in connection with a second alleged victim, officials said.
source: http://www.brownwoodbulletin.com/articles/200...
Which is it Reporter/Columnist/Cat Juggler Nash, "victim" or "alleged victim" ? Has Brownwood Police Office Vince Ariaz been indicted and convicted already ? Maybe Brown County Juvenile Probation Officer and KXYL Talking Head JR Williams can tell us !
Steve

Brownwood, TX

#7 Jul 19, 2007
Steve wrote:
Brownwood Police Chief, Virgil Cowin, on this mornings KXYL "The Big Show" with JR Williams and Mike Cope discussing the case of Brownwood Police Officer Vince Ariaz. Q: How long has the rumor spoke of on this mornings show been floating around Brownwood ? The most interesting quote to me was the comment by KXYL's Mike Cope that they did not want to try this case in the press. I don't recall them making the same comment as they pontificated frequently on the case of Brownwood Marine Eddie Gomez ! Let's roll the tapes of those on air comments and discussions !
The "rumor" was floated to me in a conversation by an elected Brown County Constable prior to the last Brownwood Police Chief's race in 2006 ! Q: How long was the Brownwood Police Department aware of this "rumor" prior to their recent 3 week investigation ?
Steve

Brownwood, TX

#8 Jul 19, 2007
Second charged filed against cop who led Explorers program

Associated Press - July 19, 2007 2:05 PM ET

BROWNWOOD, Texas (AP)- A sex-abuse related charge involving a second alleged victim has been filed against a now-suspended Brownwood policeman.

Sergeant Vince Ariaz was arrested Tuesday and charged with sexual assault of a child after investigators caught him engaged in a sex act with a 15-year-old girl.

That happened at the Brownwood Coliseum Annex.

Yesterday, the 53-year-old officer was charged with indecency with a child by sexual contact in an incident involving a 16-year-old girl.

Authorities say the investigation revealed a relationship between Ariaz and a member of Police Explorers, which involves teaching youths about law enforcement work.

Bond is $750,000 for Ariaz.

If convicted, Ariaz could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for each charge.

Ariaz is indefinitely suspended from the Brownwood police force, where he's worked for 17 years.

Information from:

Brownwood Bulletin, http://www.brownwoodbulletin.com
Abilene Reporter-News, http://www.reporternews.com

source: http://www.kten.com/Global/story.asp...
John

Menard, TX

#10 Jul 20, 2007
This guy deserves what He gets !!!!He will do some time in Prison and He will not enjoy it as He is a forner Cop and a Child abuser...ewwww maybe that will curb his attitude a bit ..
Billy Bob Martinez

Llano, TX

#11 Jul 20, 2007
Today I heard the radio station 96.9 mention that the investigation on Police Officer Vince Ariaz has been going on since January 2007. My question is that could the victims of this Brownwood police officer have been protected? 39 times in the last few months seems a little excessive and horrible.
Steve

San Angelo, TX

#12 Jul 20, 2007
Police Explorers shaken by Brownwood officer's arrest

By Celinda Emison
Friday, July 20, 2007

Brownwood Police Department officials say the Police Explorers program will carry on, despite recent allegations of sexual misconduct by the organization's lead adviser.

Sgt. Vince Ariaz, who was arrested and charged with sexual assault and indecency with a child this week, began the Explorers program in 2000. Ariaz remains in custody at the Brown County Jail in lieu of $750,000 bond.

Ariaz's name and qualifications were removed from the Explorer Post 1150's Web site by Wednesday.

read more here: http://www.reporternews.com/news/2007/jul/20/...

Friday July 20, 2007
News

‘A pattern of exploitation’

By Steve Nash — Brownwood Bulletin

Former Brownwood Police Sgt. Vince Ariaz had sexual contact with two female, teenage Police Explorers and engaged in a “pattern of exploitation,” a Texas Ranger alleged in documents.

A charge filed Wednesday against Ariaz stems from an allegation that he fondled a 16-year-old Explorer in 2004, a complaint filed by Texas Ranger Nick Hanna states.

read entire article here:
http://www.brownwoodbulletin.com/articles/200...

Friday July 20, 2007

News

Jail takes steps to keep accused officer safe

By Steve Nash — Brownwood Bulletin

Brown County Jail officials said they anticipate a lengthy stay by Vince Ariaz because of his $750,000 bond, and they are taking steps to keep him safe.

Ariaz is in a one-person cell, where he showers and eats. He is separated from other inmates because the “double whammy” of being a police officer and someone accused of sex crimes against minors would put him at risk in the general population, Sheriff Bobby Grubbs and jail administrator Becky Caffey said.

“We have him in protective custody right now,” Caffey said.“He doesn’t come out of that cell except for visitation and (recreation).

“… The inmates would probably beat him up — bad. We don’t want anything to happen to him.”

read entire article here: http://www.brownwoodbulletin.com/articles/200...
June

Llano, TX

#13 Jul 20, 2007
Who will speak for our children ? Who will guide them through this mess? No one has spoken about the explorer kids. Who belived in Stg. Ariaz who was their leader and mentor. My fear is their are many, who don't know where to get help and who they can trust to help them. It seems no one is focused on the victims or the mental scars he has created.
Steve

San Angelo, TX

#14 Jul 20, 2007
June wrote:
Who will speak for our children ? Who will guide them through this mess? No one has spoken about the explorer kids. Who belived in Stg. Ariaz who was their leader and mentor. My fear is their are many, who don't know where to get help and who they can trust to help them. It seems no one is focused on the victims or the mental scars he has created.
If I were the Brownwood Chief of Police, I would have already made available to the alleged victims and others involved, "outside" counselors, who are not connected in any way to Brownwood or Brown County Law Enforcement (see trust issues)! I would suggest contacting City Hall and speaking your concerns with the City Manager, City Attorney, or your City Council member as well. You might also contact an "outside" reporter as well ! You may be the one who has to step up and speak for the children. You've already taken the first step by posting here for the entire world to see.
July

Lubbock, TX

#15 Jul 20, 2007
Maybe everyone needs to look back on the history of this department and see what it is worth. And that the bad apples are trying to cover them selves by hanging the good apple out to dry. "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" The department is out of line by being on talk shows and constant TV news. They are trying to float the public to their side before the court even convenes.
Steve

Coleman, TX

#16 Jul 21, 2007
Youth groups becoming more vigilant about oversight

By Celinda Emison
Saturday, July 21, 2007

The recent arrest of a Brownwood police officer who is accused of sexual abuse of members of a youth group he oversees has officials who work with young people at least reviewing, if not tightening, rules governing how adults interact with juveniles.

read entire report here: http://www.reporternews.com/news/2007/jul/21/...
Steve

Coleman, TX

#17 Jul 21, 2007
July wrote:
Maybe everyone needs to look back on the history of this department and see what it is worth. And that the bad apples are trying to cover them selves by hanging the good apple out to dry. "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" The department is out of line by being on talk shows and constant TV news. They are trying to float the public to their side before the court even convenes.
What "history" of this department are you aware of ?
Steve

Coleman, TX

#18 Jul 21, 2007
The discussion (see link below) going on over at COB (unofficial City of Brownwood site) under the heading "Chester the molester"

http://www.cityofbrownwood.com/active.asp
Steve

Coleman, TX

#19 Jul 21, 2007
Noticias en español

July 18, 2007, 5:58PM
Agente acusado en Texas de tener relaciones sexuales con menor

la policía fue acusado de haber tenido relaciones sexuales con una menor de 15 años, que es miembro de un programa de entrenamiento de fuerza pública para adolescentes.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.es.mpl/sp/top...
She who resists

Sonora, TX

#20 Jul 22, 2007
J R the talking head wrote:
nothing funnier than you wanting comments and discussions......and will never call in and discuss. it real simple ANY TOPIC YOU, THE MAN ,THE KNOW ALL ON ALL can call and make your topic the topic.
p.s. if a cop tells you do something maybe you should do it!
Isn't that what those girls did? Didn't they do what the officer of the law told them to do????
P.S. Maybe if an immoral cop tell you to do something you should not only question his authority but resist that authority as well. Isn't that something we need to teach our children??? Shouldn't we teach our children to stand up for their rights and the rights of others?
Steve

Brownwood, TX

#21 Jul 24, 2007
From today's Brownwood Bulletin:

Tuesday July 24, 2007
News
Program offers help, support to sexual assault victims
By Candace Cooksey Fulton — Brownwood Bulletin

The former 35th District Attorney, two high school coaches in Brown County and now a Brownwood Police sergeant — Kim Gilliam counts off the list of locally known people accused of child sexual abuse and/or assault.

“Those are within the last five years. Those are the cases people know about and talk about and are familiar with,” Gilliam said.“People think it’s something that happens to others, but how close are these cases?”

Gilliam, a former Brown County sheriff’s deputy and Texas Youth Commission guard now serving as the sexual assault victims’ advocate at The Ark Domestic Violence Shelter, answered the question herself.

“Too close.”

Gilliam said the statistics she sees — that one in six children will be sexually abused by the time they are 18 — sadden and horrify her. But they don’t surprise her.

read entire report here: http://www.brownwoodbulletin.com/articles/200...

Brownwood Bulletin Editorial
Tuesday July 24, 2007
Op Ed

After arrest, difficult issues to overcome

Allegations such as those facing a former Brownwood police sergeant are troubling on a number of levels, and the ramifications are far-reaching. The justice system must be allowed to follow its course, because even with a strong case having been built by investigators, the accused remains innocent until proven guilty. Still, the breach of trust that exists for even such charges to be possible against a person who vows to uphold our laws is devastating to those with whom that individual works.

Many questions remain to be answered. What safeguards could have been in place in the Police Explorers program to prevent unlawful contact between adults and juveniles in the way the charges allege? Were there earlier indications of possible indiscretions, and were they reported? Some may even ask whether an investigation of such reports could have been completed more quickly.

read entire editorial here: http://www.brownwoodbulletin.com/articles/200...

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