Editorial

Beware of that ever-present sign: SOLD OUT!

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 11.4.21

THE BADGE & GUN CAN SAFELY GO ON RECORD saying that the word around HPD and the HPOU comes right to the point. The word is SELLOUT! Just take a look at all of the recent activities covered in this, the November issue of your online newsletter. Astros playoff T-shirts. Sold out! Northeast Fall Festival.Read more

Do your research and vote

Doug Griffith, HPOU President on 10.7.21

HPOU elections will begin Thursday, October 7th at noon and run until Friday, October 22nd at noon.  I will take it that people do read my Badge and Gun articles as the last one about leadership and getting involved must have struck a chord with some.  In this election we have more contested seats thanRead more

Welcome to normalcy! Well, closer to it, anyway.

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 04.1.21

Welcome back to the first “open” HPOU general membership meeting in at least a year – the COVID-19 year of infamy. The fajitas were once again served in the Breck Porter meeting hall on the first Thursday in April of 2021. Normally that wouldn’t be any big deal but after the Year of the MaskRead more

No shortage of excellence amongst HPD ranks

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 03.4.21

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS READ THE OFFICER PROFILES in this issue of the Badge & Gun to once again see proof that the men and women in Houston Blue do their jobs well often. What’s the point? We continue to stress the need for nominations for HPOU Patrol Officer of the Month andRead more

The Nominations are in! Or are they?

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 02.3.21

WE NEED YOUR HELP. ALL OF US KNOW OF THE EXCELLENCE demonstrated every day and evening by the hard-working, highly professional officers in the Houston Police Department. Every general membership meeting the Houston Police Officers Union recognizes this excellence by recognizing the HPOU Patrol Officer(s) of the Month and the HPOU Investigator(s) of the Month.Read more

With 2020 behind us, let’s stay safe and healthy!

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 01.8.21

AS WE START A NEW YEAR, WE MUST remember the dreadful number of HPD losses of the infamous period known as “the pandemic year” of 2020 – which none of us want even in 20-20 hindsight. Since the end of calendar year 2019, HPD has lost five of its finest, the worst year of line-of-dutyRead more

Giving thanks and being thankful for these great people and businesses

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 12.3.20

IN A NATION THAT IS BECOMING KNOWN for its division, we have proof of rock-solid law enforcement subcultures dedicated to buoyant unity for the cause at hand. In this season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we offer two great examples of unsung organizations dedicated to helping police officers in great time of need. First, we haveRead more

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The Presidents Message

Happy New Year – a year HPD begins with short staffs on the streets

Going into the new year, we always get excited and look forward to starting out fresh and getting things “in order”.  This year was no different as we rang in the new year trying to stay positive.  It can often be hard to look forward to a new year when we have so many big issues that we are facing as an organization.

First and foremost are the staffing issues that we are seeing at every station across the city.  I worked New Years eve at Southeast and roll call consisted of about six people for early side and another six for late side for two districts.  We were non-stop the entire night!

Our manpower issues are being exacerbated by the current Covid is spike. We had over 420 officers out as of New Year’s Day which is leading to dangerous situations on the streets. We must

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You may be asking: What is involved in Contract Negotiations?

Every time we work on a contract, we do a survey of what people would like to see in the contract.  In the last survey in 2020 we only had 51 members who responded, and it was obvious that most were supervisors. Since that survey, I have received about 40 more emails regarding the writers’ “wish list” for the contract. Overwhelmingly, pay was on the top of the list for items in the contract. Second was more time off.

We are only in our second meeting over the contract and are bound by a confidentiality agreement. So discussing issues is prohibited.  But I wanted everyone to know how the process works as many do not understand the intricacies of Meet and Confer.

Being in a right-to-work state, it is a process that seems to work better than collective bargaining.  In northern

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Changes in the IAD interview process and other important information every HPOU member needs to keep at hand

I have heard many people say that there are issues with the IAD process and oral interviews. Most are not aware that the ability to conduct oral interviews is in Chapter 143 of the Local Government code and has been in our contract since the first one in 1998.

Acevedo was the first chief to use the interview technique which he brought with him from Austin. We spoke with Chief Finner several times regarding the issues with the oral interviews and their effects on the morale of the department.  He met with us and agreed that not all cases should be oral interviews, and immediately changed the policy.

Now, oral interviews will be reserved for serious infractions that could be considered criminal, such as use of force or anything sexual in nature. This all being said, I believe it is im

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As the deadline looms, there are still no answers from the city

We have been working very hard on the latest “mandate” from the mayor.  The very first time we heard about the mayor wanting to have vaccine mandates was during a weekly City Council meeting when he stated that he was looking into all city employees get vaccinated.  We immediately began to research if this was legal, and what we could do to prevent it.  Our attorneys reached out to the Labor Relations Institute and found that there was case law and actual Supreme Court rulings on this, though the Supreme Court case was 1905.  I believed that there must be other case law out that would prevent this from taking place.  We do have constitutional rights, right?

I know we have all paid very close attention to the Methodist Employee case.  The ruling from the court was that they can

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Interested in being a leader?

Leadership is a word tossed around by many to label the head of an organization.  But what is a real leader?  Is it a chief of police, is it the commander at the station, or is it the hard worker on your shift?

There are plenty of supervisors out there who think they are “leaders.” But let’s be honest, not every supervisor is a leader.  You can teach anyone to be a supervisor, but you cannot teach leadership.

Can you teach aspects of leadership?  Certainly. But we must also understand that there are certain aspects of leadership that cannot be taught or learned from a book.  Leadership is a calling, a feeling, a burning from inside that makes you want to do what you do.

True leaders will find a way to make things work in the worst of situations and a way that makes ever

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