Spotlight on Friends of NRA Volunteer Sarah Cortez, “Cop-Poet of America”

posted on April 11, 2019

Saying “I Love America” is dear to the heart of reserve deputy Sarah Cortez, a four-year volunteer for the Houston-Metro Friends of NRA committee. Immediately after, Sarah eagerly adds, “I Love Being a Cop.”

Recently chosen for the Dick Tracy Hall of Fame due to her work as an author and public speaker about law enforcement, Sarah smiles and readily acknowledges that this is one of her favorite honors bestowed. All those literary awards—regional, national, and international—for her 13 books have been welcome, but Dick Tracy’s Hall of Fame is in a special league all its own.

Sarah grew up as a sixth-generation Texan from families originally from Spain who then inter-married with the peoples of early Texas: French, Comanche, Apache, and Mexican. Her father was an outdoorsman all his life in South Texas. “He always observed the strictest rules for safety. If another hunter made unsafe choices, my father packed up and went home that very moment, or he sent the other hunter packing. He made sure to track down and find, then kill, an animal that had been wounded—even if it meant that he got no more hunting done that day on an expensive lease that he'd saved money all year long to buy.”

After being introduced to police officers while a board member for a large civic association in Houston, Sarah found law enforcement calling to her. She made a radical career change from employee benefits consulting to the police academy, taking an initial 75 percent pay cut. She still says, “Becoming a cop is the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s my chance to stand up for what I believe.”

It is the intersection of civic duties and the role of the protector that has called to both sides of Sarah's family and produced generations of military and law enforcement. “Every uncle I had served in WWII, Korea, and/or Vietnam. We are a family that loves America. Even my mother worked for the U.S. State Department on the Mexico/U.S. border during WWII. I still possess her ID bracelet and recall her showing it to me as a kid. She explained that if the U.S. was attacked and she was killed, then someone could identify her charred body due to the bracelet. This was just a fact to her—she wasn't scared. I think her steady sense of love for America and its freedoms, as well as her strong faith in God, made her courageous.”

Through the guidance of Liz Foley, NRA Senior Field Representative for Texas East, Sarah has found an inspiring mix of friends who volunteer and attend Friends of NRA events. “I’ve relished meeting people across our great state of Texas. Some of the most passionate volunteers are people who grew up under Communism in Europe or Asia. These people understand what it's like to be unable to defend yourself or your beliefs. They also understand the importance of factual and accurate education about guns and respect for the shooting arts.”

Sarah’s work in policing over more than two decades has brought urgency to communicating some of the scenarios she’s seen, and written about, facing both civilians and police officers. “You have to train and train and train to make good decisions in critical moments. When things go south, they go quickly. You must have excellent training to make split-second decisions that are legal and ethical. I adore the fact that Friends of NRA fundraising helps to fund programs for populations that violent criminals love to target: the elderly, women, the disabled, and, oh Yes, police officers, too.”

Sarah’s 2019 calendar is already full of Houston-Metro Friends of NRA volunteer meetings as she joins her husband, the committee chair and retired police chief, in planning their next fundraiser. “What I love about Friends of NRA volunteers is the same thing I love about my fellow police officers—they are patriotic, law-abiding, and still believe in America. Just like me.”

In addition to volunteering for Friends of NRA, Sarah is an award-winning author and public speaker, and is often called the “cop-poet of America.” Her recent book, Tired, Hungry, and Standing in One Spot for Twelve Hours: Essential Cop Essays,” launched Sarah’s national campaign “Saving Police Lives.” She also writes for



More Evidence that Gun-Control Activists Hate Armed Citizens

Many on the other side of the Second Amendment debate tend to think that a person saving their own life and the lives of others is automatically a bad thing.

Shooting Straight with Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson burst onto the scene in 2018 with a speech he gave defending our freedom at a town council meeting that went viral. In 2020, he became lieutenant governor of North Carolina. We wanted to know what he has to say about this midterm election.

Debunking Myths About the Big, Bad Gun Industry

The best hope for American freedom is to fight falsehoods about gun ownership, crime and more with the truth.

The Races That Will Decide Our Freedom

Whether a majority of pro-freedom candidates win in this midterm election will depend on how the individual races highlighted here turn out. That being said, every local, state and congressional race matters.

The Lovely Art of Going Afield, Shotgun in Hand

The stories we write as we go afield and tell later are what it is all about.

The Armed Citizen® September 23, 2022

True stories of the right to keep and bear arms.


Get the best of America's 1st Freedom delivered to your inbox.