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DATE:  Saturday, July 25, 2020

 

TIME:  10:00 am - 2:00 pm

LOCATION:  Online Zoom Webinar

CREDITS:  CLE Credits

Image by Chris Montgomery

We must address the entire judicial system that allows the police to go free and back to the streets, often receiving praise or awards after killing a Black or Brown man or woman. 

NCBL WEBINAR
LEAP CLE MASTER SERIES
PART I

The National Conference of Black Lawyers’ Law Enforcement Accountability Project (LEAP) is a legal education program designed to train a cadre of lawyers to file civil suits in Federal Court on behalf of the victims of police misconduct and to educate community activists to know their rights, especially during these protests. 

 

Those taking this training will receive CLE credits to maintain their license to practice law and are encouraged to work with members of their communities as legal advocates in the fight against police brutality. 

 

Over the next 6 months, we will offer 10 regional virtual 4-hour training sessions across the United States, in the Southeast, Northeast, Southwest, Midwest, and West in cities, including: 

Atlanta, GA  |  Houston, TX  |  Los Angeles, CA  

New Orleans, LA  |  New York, NY  |  Jackson, MS 

Washington, DC  |  Charlotte, NC

 

NCBL is a 501(c)3 organization.  We are a diverse group of lawyers, law students, legal workers, judges, and community activists ranging in age, gender, and nationality who come together and volunteer our skills and services in the struggle to improve the criminal justice system and to fight for human rights and human dignity for people of color in the courtroom and in the streets. 

 

From its inception in 1968, The National Conference of Black Lawyers identified police crimes visited upon Black, Brown, Native American people, and other racial minorities as a priority area of concern. 

 

Our work continues as we witness the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade and many others in the unending litany of acts of state-sanctioned violence against our people.

 

 Over its 50-year history, the NCBL has litigated a number of cases against the police and we have won many.  However, winning often means more of our tax dollars going to pay the victims' families for police crimes.  We learned, what many have come to realize today, that the police departments are not alone in their systemic racist practices. 

NCBL LEAP FACULTY MEMBERS

 

Our distinguished faculty will also educate participants on the unique powers granted to the police across the country and how we must work together to change the racist practices engrained in the culture throughout the police departments.  Police are the only representatives of governmental authority who are licensed to use physical force including deadly force to compel citizens to obey. 

 

The most frequent targets are the powerless in society: racial minorities, the poor, the young, and people who challenge the existing social, economic, or political order.  Long before Covid-19, this same population have had to resist the racial pandemic of white supremacy that is played out in forms of police misconduct, ranging from extortions of false testimony and filing false charges against the victims, underwritten ongoing acts of terror and the blatant refusal of the state to hold the perpetrators accountable.

LEAP FACULTY MEMBER BIOGRAPHIES

August 12th 1954 - Alief Volunteer Fire Department Created


Five members of the farming community of Alief came together to form a voluntary organization. The Texas Secretary of State issued a non-profit charter to create the Alief Volunteer Fire Department. The fire department was to provide service to the village of Alief within a two-mile radius from the Alief Independent School District’s school house, the current Youens Elementary school. Eventually, the Alief Volunteer Fire Department built a fire station at the corner of C street and Alief-Clodine road, serving an initial population of about 200 people. (Pictured below is the original Alief VFD station, shown after the merger with CVFD) test




April 12th 1971 - Community Volunteer Fire Department Created


In the early 1970’s, the quiet farming village of Alief continued to grow and quickly transformed into a suburban bedroom community of Houston. Many residents of the new subdivisions felt that the Alief Volunteer Fire Department was not able to adapt to the growing needs of the area. As such, George M. Karam filed Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of the State of Texas to create a non-profit corporation known as the Community Protection Agency Inc (CPA). The initial directors of the newly formed CPA consisted of: George M. Karem, Arthur Ammons, and Robert H. Smith. On the same day The Community Protection Agency, Inc. created the Community Volunteer Fire Department to bring additional fire protection to the Alief area. (Left: George Karam) (Right: Robert Smith)




June 6th 1971 - CVFD Responds to its Fire Fire Call


The newly formed Community Volunteer Fire Department responded to its first fire call on an engine loaned to the department by the City of Houston Fire Department. The loaned fire truck was "stationed" at an Arco Service Station on Bellaire Blvd and Wilcrest. Within weeks, the City of Houston loaned another engine which was housed at the Shell Service Station near the same intersection. Beyond loaning fire trucks, the City of Houston Fire Department was helpful by arranging some firefighter training to the volunteers both within the department's geographic area and at the Houston Fire Training facility near Hobby Airport, known today as the Val Jahnke Fire Training Facility. (Pictured: First fire engine loaned by HFD)




November 28th 1971 - CVFD Opens First Fire Station


Recognizing the need for a regular fire station, The Community Protection Agency, Inc. launched a door-to-door fund drive asking residents for a $12.00 per year donation. The initial drive raised nearly $20,000. The Alief Independent School District Board of Education allowed the Community Protection Agency, Inc. to utilize a 150' x 150' tract on land near Boone Road and Bissonnet upon which to build a fire station to serve the community of that area. Construction on the station began Labor Day weekend 1971 and after many weeks of night and weekend work by the volunteers, construction was completed on their new fire station. On November 28th 1971, an open house was held which was attended by a reported host of dignitaries, the Alief High School Band plus firefighters and their families. (Pictured: New Station Dedication)




November 17, 1972 – Alief Vol Fire Dept and Community Vol Fire Dept Merge


The Secretary of State of the State of Texas issued a Certificate of Dissolution of the Alief Volunteer Fire Department. The assets were distributed by outright donation to the Community Protection Agency, Inc. This action resulted in the merger of the Alief Volunteer Fire Department and the Community Volunteer Fire Department. The combined entities were now known as the Alief Community Volunteer Fire Department.




July 1, 1973 – ACVFD Adds Emergency Medical Services


Recognizing the need for additional services, emergency ambulance service was added to the Alief Community Volunteer Fire Department. Ambulance personnel were derived from the existing ranks of the fire department. (Pictured: CVFD's First Ambulance)




1976 – ACVFD Hires First Paid Day Crew


The Alief Community Volunteer Fire Department took another progressive step in its evolution. With the continued growth of Alief, it became apparent that there were not enough volunteers in the area during the day to adequately provide services. It was at this point that the Community Protection Agency hired its first paid “Day Crew” to staff the fire station at C Street and Alief-Clodine Road.  The paid staff, made up mostly from the ranks of the city of Houston Fire Department, would cover the station from 6:00am to 6:00pm Monday through Friday. Funding for the “Day Crew” came from the donations collected on local water bills as well as the fees collected from the ambulance service.




1977 – Alief is Annexed, New Headquarters Opens


The City of Houston continued its westward expansion and annexed the eastern end of the Alief area between Gessner and Wilcrest. Houston Fire Department Station 73 was commissioned and operated out of the Alief Community Volunteer Fire department station located at Bissonnet and Boone Road, the very station built by the volunteers in 1971. This arrangement lasted for several months while the City built the current home of HFD Station 73 on Wilcrest south of Bissonnet. In the late 1970s and early 1980s. the suburban sprawl that Houston would become famous for continued westward into the Mission Bend subdivision. The Alief Community Volunteer Fire Department moved west as well. Again, with a land donation / deal with the Alief Independent School District, the Department built a new fire station on Alief-Clodine Road west of State Highway 6, adjacent to Albright Middle School. Headquarters, including dispatch, and the Chief’s quarters were moved to the new station from C Street. The Station was designated as Station 1 and the Day Crew moved their operations there as well.




1984 – Houston Annexes Remaining Portions of Alief


The City of Houston annexed additional territory which included the remaining areas of greater Alief westward to Synott Road south of Beechnut and west to Eldridge Road north of Beechnut.  The Alief Community Volunteer Fire Department Station 2 located on C Street was now contained in the boundaries of the City of Houston. However, the C Street location was still staffed by volunteers during all volunteer shifts for the next 25 years until a new fire station was built and commissioned for Station 2 in 2009.




April 2, 1985 – Alief is Dropped from Department Name


The Community Protection Agency, Inc. changed the name of the fire department from the Alief Community Volunteer Fire Department to Community Volunteer Fire Department. It was felt this was more appropriate in since the department was providing an increasing amount of service to the geographic areas well beyond neighborhoods generally considered to be in Alief.




August 1997 – Emergency Services District is Formed


Still dependent on the $3.00 donation on residential water bills and income from the department’s ambulance service, Community Protection Agency, Inc. acknowledged the declining pattern of financial contributions necessary to support operations. Call volume was increasing, equipment was aging, and income was rapidly declining. To better assure stable revenue, the board acknowledged the desirability of an Emergency Services District. A petition containing the signature of 100 qualified signers was necessary from each of the two counties. Little resistance was encountered during the petition signing process and during public hearings. With enough signers, an election was held, and the initiative passed with strong voter support. Harris / Ft. Bend County Emergency Services District 100 was born.




April 1998 – ESD #100 Contracts Community Volunteer Fire Department


Harris Fort Bend County ESD No.100 entered into a contract with Community Protection Agency, Inc. for fire suppression, rescue, and emergency medical services to its area. Significant capital improvements were made possible due to the dramatic improvement in financial support. Since the formation of the ESD, the area’s population has grown consistently, and the financial stability has kept pace with the increased demand for services.




2003 – Fire Station 3 Opens


ESD 100 commissioned a new fire station (Station 3) located just east of Mason Road on FM 1093 (now the feeder road of the Westpark Tollway).  This facility represents the continued westward development of the area with expansion beyond FM 1464 in Ft. Bend County.




2006 – New Fire Station 1 Opens


Due to the construction of the Westpark Tollway along Alief-Clodine Road in front of Station 1, the facility would no longer be able to function as a fire station. The Commissioners of ESD 100 approved funding for a new Station 1 located on Bellaire Blvd, west of Addicks–Clodine Road in the heart of Mission Bend. This new station became the headquarters building for the Chief of the Department as well as the central dispatch center.




2015 – New EMS Station 4 and Conference Center Opens


As the area grew, so did the department. Additional facilities were needed to accommodate for the rapid growth. An EMS specific station was added as well as an attached Conference Center with large classrooms and a meeting space. Ambulance 1 and 4 were relocated to this new station resulting in Station 1 becoming a fire only station for the first time since 1973. Station 4, now called Station 94, currently houses two Medic Units and an EMS Supervisor.




January 1st, 2018 – Community Protection Agency Appoints New Fire Chief


In late 2017, major news erupted as the department’s long time Fire Chief, Steve Fowler announced his retirement. Chief Fowler began his service with CVFD in the 70’s and served as the Chief of Department for over 30 years. Soon after this announcement, Assistant Fire Chief Bobby Clark was approved as the new Chief by the Board of Directors of the Community Protection Agency. Chief Clark began his new position at midnight on January 1st, 2018.




January 2020 – Stephen R. Fowler Training Facility Opens


Since the 1970’s, CVFD has utilized the Fort Bend County Fire Field for all cadet and current firefighter training. While this facility served the department well, its distance prevented CVFD firefighters from receiving the amount training required to maintain proficiency in necessary skills. As his last major project, Chief Fowler along with Assistant Chief Clark and Training Captain Mitchell proposed to ESD100 that the department needed its own facility, which they unanimously approved. Between design and construction, this project lasted nearly three years until it finally opened in January of 2020. To honor Chief Fowler’s many years of dedicated service, it was announced during his retirement party that the new training facility would bear his name.




Present Day


The Community Volunteer Fire Department is a modern tax supported emergency response agency bringing forward the latest technology and equipment in fire suppression, technical rescue, and emergency medical services. We proudly serve a diverse population of just over 150,000 people with a dedicated staff of both paid and volunteer members. Our motto of neighbors helping neighbors is as relevant today as it was in April of 1971. 





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