Cove PD promotes two
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The Copperas Cove Police Department recognized the promotion of two from among their ranks to the rank of corporal on Friday afternoon.
Family, friends, and colleagues of Officer Vincenzo Militello and Officer Mikelah Ortega were present to celebrate with them.
Lt. Gabriel Cardona conducted the ceremony and introduced the officers as well as Chief of Police Eddie Wilson, who said a few words about the two being promoted.
”I just came to the realization it’s not a good day, because we are promoting people who are the same age as my kids, so reality has set it in,” Wilson joked, prior to sharing about the officers’ roles at the department.
Both Militello and Ortega were hired by the department on Oct. 5, 2015 and both graduated from the police academy in March 2016, Wilson said.
Militello receive the Top Gun award while at the academy and is a member of the CCPD’s SWAT team.
“He has actually been on the SWAT team pretty much since he started at the department, that’s how much confidence the team has in Officer Militello,” Wilson said. Militello also belongs to the department’s honor guard, and is part of the department’s budget committee.
Ortega has also distinguished herself in her time at the department so far.
“She is a member of the department’s crisis negotiation team, and much like SWAT, that is a very important piece of our police department,” Wilson said.
Cardona talked about the role of the corporal at the department, with the corporal being the first-line supervisor in each of the divisions of the police department, and the corporal being responsible for leading, directing training and controlling those individuals under their supervision. In the absence of the sergeant, the corporal assumes all the duties of the sergeant.
He also talked about the three-part process the officers went through before their promotion.
“The goal is identifying the best qualified officers for advancement. The three parts of the process are the written examination, the assessment center and the oral board.
Cardona said the oral board members included himself, as well as fellow officers Sgt. Steve O’Neal, Cpl. Anthony Kostner, Cpl. Jacob Smith. He thanked Pat Boone, the program coordinator at Central Texas College Police Academy who helped facilitate the written exam.
“The assessment center phase of the process can be considered the most difficult. It’s emotionally and physically draining to the applicants,” he said. “Assessors were selected based on their knowledge and experience in leadership and management skills.”
The assessors included Bobby Lewis, City Planner for the City of Copperas Cove; Lt. Anthony Lawrence with the Killeen Police Department; Lt. Dwayne Cummings with the Copperas Cove Fire Department; and Sgt. Steve Ward from the Leander Police Department.