Online Masters Graduate Tosses Hat(s) into Criminal Justice

Online Masters Graduate Ian
Online Masters Graduate Ian "Buddy" Lovestock donated his collection of police hats to the Criminal Justice Center.

Ian “Buddy” Lovestock, who graduated in December from the Online Master in Leadership and Management program, is bringing his interest in policing across the globe to the Criminal Justice Center.

Lovestock, the only American peace officer to complete the standard, four-week training program at the British Home Office Crime Prevention Centre, donated his collection of police hats and plaques from training programs all over the world, including England, Israel, Holland, New Zealand, Kuwait, and Quebec, to Sam Houston State University, College of Criminal Justice. The items will be displayed in the halls of the Criminal Justice Center.

“I am very interested in how police operate in different countries,” said Lovestock. “The helmets worn by Bobbies in England are based on the British military regalia, which was part of the dress uniform. The Israeli Border Police have a beret because they are a paramilitary organization.”

Lovestock has spent 35 years as a law enforcement professional, much of it in training and crime prevention. In addition to his four week training in Stafford, England with officers from throughout the United Kingdom, he spent seven years on a kibbutz in Israel. Along the way, he began collecting memorabilia from different agencies, including police flat caps, helmets, and berets as well as plaques representing training academies from all over the world.

“I like to study the similarities and differences in policing,” Lovestock said.

Ian Lovestock poses in front of Criminal Justice Center entrances.
Lovestock participated in the Online Masters Program at SHSU.
Lovestock just completed his Master’s degree at Sam Houston State University.

“The online program was ideal for me,” said Lovestock. “It was academically challenging and there is nothing that I missed by attending it this way. I communicated with fellow students online, and we had discussion boards. The professors were very responsive and fair. They went above and beyond for their students.”

Lovestock began his career as a police officer in Alamo Heights and Seguin. In Alamo Heights, he was the responding officer following the attempted assassination of James Kerr, a federal prosecutor, by hitman Charles Harrelson, father of actor Woody Harrelson. The case was tied to El Paso Drug King Jamiel Chagra, who was accused but never convicted of masterminding the assassination of U.S. District Judge John H. Wood in San Antonio in 1978.

“I never had anything like that case before or since,” Lovestock said. “I was four blocks away when that happened and when I drove up on the scene, there was still smoke in the air and there were spent shells all around. Two ladies were helping Jimmy Kerr at the curb. The shots were fired into the windshield and the hood. It was the firewall of the car that saved him.”

Lovestock served as a Regional Crime Prevention Specialist and Regional Police Training Manager for the Alamo Area Council of Governments, a voluntary association of organizations for planning, research, information distribution and coordination of activities for a 12 county region in Central Texas.

He also served as Deputy Chief in Bexar County and Assistant Chief in Seguin before being appointed Police Chief in Hondo.

In addition to his SHSU Master’s degree, Lovestock earned a Masters in Education from Texas State University. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Lovestock currently is an adjunct faculty member at the University of the Incarnate Word and he also served as head of the criminal justice program at Kaplan College for 18 months. He is running for Sheriff of Bexar County and launching Training Forensics, a company that provides expertise in training for policy reviews or court testimony.

“I’ve loved every minute of my career and there is not a single thing I would do differently,” said Lovestock.”

Lovestock said he has watched the evolution of police training programs. In the 1980s, the focus was on crime prevention and later it was replaced with an emphasis on community policing. Today, it is shifting to homeland security and terrorism. There are more officers taken off the street to go to schools for training and an increase in litigation.

Lovestock hopes to parlay his expertise in training into a business to help departments develop policies and to assist officers caught up in lawsuits. He said most lawsuits against peace officers focus on the use of force and operation of police vehicles, and he can provide expertise testimony on policies addressing use of force issues.

“I want to help in the defense of police officers who may be accused based on failure to train issues,” said Lovestock.

Member of The Texas State University System