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

Doug Griffith, HPOU President on 01.6.22

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 bigRead more

IMPORTANT NOTICE: FRBT premium changes

FRBT on 12.2.21

Thank you for being a valued member of the Houston Police Benefit Trust (HPBT) and the First Responders Benefit Trust (FRBT). Please note, effective January 1, 2022, there will be premium changes to our current Group Term Life and Indemnity Dental policies for Active and Retired members. Group Term Life Changes Indemnity Dental Changes IfRead more

HPOU Legal’s Mary Nan Huffman running for vacant City Council seat

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 12.2.21

Mary Nan Huffman, a member of the HPOU legal team, has announced her candidacy for Houston City Council District G seat being vacated by Councilman Greg Travis, a longtime friend of the Union and Houston policing. Huffman, who ran for Harris County district attorney against incumbent Kim Ogg, announced her plan on Nov. 15 asRead more

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

Doug Griffith, HPOU President on 12.2.21

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’Read more

SPO John “Willie” Wilbanks latest HPD Line of Duty hero

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 11.4.21

Editor’s Note: The Badge & Gun is honoring the memory of Senior Police Officer John “Willie” Wilbanks in this issue by reprinting the eulogies delivered by three of the officer’s best friends. Herewith, the officer’s official obituary. Senior Police Officer John D. Wilbanks, assigned to the Special Operations Division, Died in the Line of DutyRead 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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