Happy ‘New Year!’ A new school year also a time for us all to reflect

JoAnna Snider, Psych Services on 09.2.21

This month we are in the throes of Back to School….this often means new clothes, new shoes, new haircuts and backpacks. It’s a time of meeting new friends and teachers. A starting over…a chance to tweak behaviors or reputations from the previous year. We talk to children about the new school year being “a cleanRead more

Is HPD the best trained department in the nation?

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 09.2.21

The Badge & Gun has been trying to prove that HPD has the best trained officers in the nation. During our research of this thesis, we reviewed Officer Joel Miller’s 2017 Departmental Training Mandates Research Project. Officer Miller, a training officer at the Houston Police Academy, found that of the nation’s five largest municipal policeRead more

Help ATO continue their mission!

Editorial Staff on 09.2.21

The 2022 “Give & Grow” Combined Municipal Campaign (CMC) officially starts Friday, October 1.  Please, consider donating a portion of your check for the upcoming year to help ATO continue their mission to offer immediate financial assistance to active Houston Police Officers that have been critically injured or suffer from a terminal illness.  Submit yourRead more

HPOU provides $2,500 donation to dog tag encouragement program

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 09.2.21

A Bible-inspired non-profit dedicated to providing specially inscribed dog tags to first responders everywhere received a $2,500 donation from the Houston Police Officers Union. The HPOU Board of Directors voted unanimously to provide the funding to Point 27, a non-profit headquartered in Marietta, Ga., whose mission is to present the dog tags to every policeRead more

HPOU get onto the ‘digital divide’ on the Eastside

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 09.2.21

Over the past few years, the HPOU has made its mark with community involvement by committing time and money to help Houston families, neighborhoods, and schools with special needs. The Union’s latest helping hand operated in partnership with an ongoing movement on the Eastside to provide laptops to school kids and families that heretofore struggledRead more

Filing period opens for 12 board positions

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 09.2.21

Filing has opened for the October election period for Union members seeking a total of 12 board member positions as well as HPOU president, third vice president and secretary offices. The sign-up period officially began Sept. 1 and will continue through 8 a.m. the morning of Oct. 7. At noon that day official voting beginsRead more

It’s still not too late to participate in September spiritual retreat

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 09.2.21

Houston police officers with a desire for spiritual growth at a San Antonio area retreat for first responders still have an opportunity to make plans to attend. The retreat program is a non-denominational spiritual retreat tailored for police officers, firefighters and first responders in general. The Shields of Christ retreat planned for Sept. 9-12 (secondRead more

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The Presidents Message

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


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


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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A new HPD chapter begins with Chief Finner; meanwhile in Austin, we have battles to fight

It has been a very busy couple of weeks here at the HPOU. We, like most of you, were surprised at the announcement that Chief Acevedo was taking the chiefs job in Miami.

With the quick announcement came a lot of questions and speculation. I have spoken with Chief Acevedo and he told me that this was a move that he did not expect, but after being offered the job and speaking with his wife felt that it would be good for the family.

I want to thank Chief Acevedo for his dedication to the City of Houston and its citizens. I know we did not always agree on issues or decisions, but I have a lot of respect for him as an individual and how he was never afraid to address tough issues.

Now for the next chapter of the Houston Police Department under our new chief, Troy Finner.

I first met

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