Editorial

In May 24 Runoff, HPOU PACHPOU endorses . . .

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 05.5.22

THE EVER-DILIGENT HPOU PAC REMINDS Union members to vote in the May 24 runoff election, where some very important offices have two candidates but one choice the PAC believes will best service HPOU members and their families. Those runoff races on the ballot include the following with the PAC’s endorsed candidates listed here (click hereRead more

At last, Buntion receives JUSTICE!

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 04.7.22

AFTER CLOSE TO 32 YEARS ON DEATH ROW, lifelong criminal Carl Wayne Buntion is scheduled to receive his just reward on April 21. Buntion murdered HPD Solo Motorcycle Officer Jim Irby on June 27, 1990 in cold blood. The detailed account of what happened on that deadly date is in this issue of the BadgeRead more

The recognition for excellence is there; the nominations are not

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 03.3.22

THE BADGE & GUN HAS RECOGNIZED HPD EXCELLENCE OVER the past few decades of publication, both in a newspaper format and online. This issue we spotlight yet another example of this quality of local law enforcement with our profile of Victim Services Lt. Julie Pleasant. We urge you to read our stories about her andRead more

HPOU PAC endorses…

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 02.3.22

The HPOU PAC has been diligently screening candidates in office for the March 1 primary.  The PAC is especially committed about endorsing judicial candidates who will effectively replace judges at the court who are letting violent criminals back on the streets with a low bond.  Here is the PAC’s list of endorsements has of FebruaryRead more

It’s a New Year and there’s new events on your calendar!

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 01.6.22

THROUGHOUT THE LAST THREE MONTHS OF THE “OLD YEAR” we would often hear of events or tasks that will take place “after the first of the year.” Now the time has come to put many of those items on your “to-do list.” The first is the Assist the Officer’s annual Heroes’ Gala set for MarchRead more

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

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The Presidents Message

Transformational Change: What does it look like?

I am hearing a lot about this new “transformational change” classes that is provided by way of the Being First group.  While I support anything that improves our department, let me be clear when I say this, no change will come to the rank and file without the command staff being direct, respectful, and transparent.  I respect most of the command staff and understand that running the department is a difficult one.  You must walk a tight rope, one that allows you to play politics with the community and still have the respect of the troops.  I truly believe that you can do both and be an effective leader.

When I speak with the membership the top three issues are morale, discipline, and manpower.  All three are tied together, as discipline and manpower are the two things that direc

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If you read nothing else….READ THIS!

Members,

As most of you know, the HPOU has tried to put a spotlight on the mental health of our department.  Joe Gamaldi started out first Peer Support program with HOPA (Houston Officers Peer Assistance). Tim Whitaker has taken over the program in the last few years.  The program has been working very well but we still have officers out there struggling.  I have personally worked with 6 officers over the last two years who are dealing with either mental health issues or alcoholism issues or other addictions.  The stressors of this job have obviously increased over the last few years with the civil unrest, the defund the police movement, the vilification of officers, and now the increased crime spikes and attacks on law enforcement.

With the stress of this job, we are seeing more

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The Contract and More….

As many of you have heard, the Council unanimously approved the Meet and Confer contract with the City of Houston and the Houston Police Officers’ Union.  This is very important to understand that in a time when heavy changes are coming to most police contracts, ours came away with very little regarding giving up rights after we informed the City that there were many misconceptions being spread by a few community activists.  Officers questioned the 180 day rule for date of discovery versus date of incident in termination cases.  This was an area that I had to rely on our attorneys for.  All four of our attorneys as well as the contract attorneys we use all said that it would not have any real impact on out membership.  San Antonio,

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HPOU contract the product of long hours of hard work; It’s now in the hands of City Council for its approval

After four long months of going back and forth with the city, we now have a contract.  I want to first thank all of those who made it out to vote.  I am sad to say that only 1,600 of our 5,100 members voted in the ratification of the contract.

This is not unusual as we only had 1,891 vote in the last contract election.  The contract did pass with a vote of 1,101 voting for and 510 voting against.

Many of you asked questions about why we do not have online voting for the contract.  There are several reasons for this, including the fact that it is a labor contract, and we must be certain no one is voting for another person.

Secondly, we want officers to attend informational meetings or meet with someone who negotiated the contract before voting to make sure the officer received

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New Year doesn’t have the start we wanted – the manpower shortage And discipline policies that directly relate to the morale of all of us

Members, I know that we have all had a long couple of weeks.  With Redbook closures, COVID, mandatory overtime, it is obviously not the start we wanted to a new year.

I don’t want to be a downer, but it appears that this may not end anytime soon.

Manpower and discipline are still the largest issues on the minds of our members. We work constantly to try to remedy the issues when they come into the office.  Some we can fix and some we can’t.

Manpower will not be fixed for years, as it is getting harder and harder to find qualified applicants.  We are continually working on the discipline issue and hope we get the department to understand that discipline is directly related to the morale of the department.

Until we fix these issues, we will continue to lose good officers.

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