Editorial

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

We are thankful! Here’s why…

on 11.5.20

HOW REFRESHING AND ENCOURAGING it was at Gov. Greg Abbott’s press conference promoting his Back the Blue pledge to be held out as a good example of policing in the highly stressful year of 2020. The governor, as well as U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen tookRead more

HPOU PAC Recommends . . .

on 10.5.20

THE HOUSTON POLICE OFFICERS’ UNION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE conducted its final meeting of this year’s election season and presents this final listing of endorsements in the Nov. 3 General Election. PAC members expressed appreciation to all Union members contributing to the PAC, for our support for candidates loyal to legislation and positions in support ofRead more

HPOU PAC endorses . . .

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 09.1.20

IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED, THE YEAR 2020 has been unlike any other. Not only is there the coronavirus pandemic but also a sometimes-disconcerting effort to defund police departments across Texas and the nation. With Mayor Turner’s leadership up to this point and his success at getting unanimous consent to HPD budget increases and fundingRead more

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The Presidents Message

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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Message from HPOU President

Members,

As President of the organization, I get all the negative feedback from members regarding ever aspect of the department as well as the HPOU.  I often get frustrated when people come in and make comments without knowing what we really do here.  I recently had an officer come in and ask exactly what his dues go for every month?  Believe it or not, I appreciate people coming in and asking questions, and actually take an interest in what the organization does for them. I could tell he was frustrated, and this interaction give me the opportunity to show what we actually do (and brag a little). We spoke for almost an hour, and I believe that he was satisfied with what I had to say and felt more comfortable when he left.  But our conversation made me realize that we do not do a ver

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Attitudes toward officers makes proactive policing very difficult, yet we HPD officers have more support than officers in most big cities

I came onto the Houston Police Department in 1990 in class No. 142.  During my entire career I have been incredibly proud of the department and consider it one of the best police departments in the nation.

I can recall times when other departments would look to Houston and ask us to help train other departments.  We have led the nation with our innovative homeless outreach and mental health response teams (CIRT).  I have always considered myself a proactive officer being in the Gang Task Force, Divisional Gang Unit, and the Tact Team at Southeast.

I know firsthand that proactive policing is necessary to keep crime rates down and the community safe.  If it were not for great proactive patrol officers and line level Tac and Gang units, the City of Houston would have been crime ridd

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Let’s discuss professionalism, which now begins with the old adage: Watch your language

Members,

I’m sure that it is easy for those in Command to look at body camera videos and determine what you should be doing and saying in the streets, but we all know the realities of a high-stress scene.

Over the last few years, I have sat on the Administrative Discipline Committee fighting for officers over discipline recommendations. With the introduction of the Body Worn Camera systems there was a quick downturn on discipline cases as the cameras were somewhat of a shock to our system.

The department found that officers were much more professional when on camera. Over the years I have noticed that officers curse quite a bit on video, which has not been a problem when dealing with violent suspects.

As we all know, over the last year there has been a lot more scrutiny over

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