News

What can’t be unseen

Barbara Schwartz on 06.2.22

This article is reprinted from Police1.com with permission of Police1 and the author. Barbara A. Schwartz Living with the Sacrifice What can’t be unseen Witnessing despicable evil shatters an officer’s assumptions about how the world is supposed to work. Another school massacre leaves officers with images and memories they can’t unseen. The Uvalde school incidentRead more

Ripley’s Believe It or Not and HPD’s first female officer

M. D. Beale, Jr., Rt. HPD Sgt. on 06.2.22

Fifth in a Series Like a lot of cases I’ve worked, the longer I kept digging the more information came to light. Policewoman/Detective Eva Jane Bacher made local, state, and national news at least 40 times during her nine years at HPD. Just a few of the highlights: During her early years from 1917 sheRead more

National Police Week 2022 an inspiration to all

Tim Whitaker, HPOU 2nd Vice President on 06.2.22

The 2022 National Police Week in Washington, DC, May 11-17, was not disappointing. The week was packed with events, some of which were very emotional.  Chief Troy Finner and Assistant Chiefs Hardin and Bashir represented HPD leadership very well. Chief Finner and Mayor Sylvester Turner were also invited to the White House to meet PresidentRead more

#PawsToTheRescue with Officer Gryder and the Knox kiddos!

BARC on 06.2.22

For #PawsToTheRescue today we had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people: Officer Austin Gryder, son of fallen Officer Gary Allen Gryder, and the children of fallen Fox Tactical Flight Officer, Jason Knox. This is a special Paws to the Rescue post as this week we observe Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police WeekRead more

Thank-you’s to Webwood Flowers, The Ballroom at Bayou Place, & HPCAAA

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 06.2.22

HPOU’s May 6 celebration of the lives of the HPD officers who made the ultimate sacrifice featured flowers and bows – and tons of goodwill – donated by two very special supporters – Webwood Flowers and The Ballroom at Bayou Place. The event drew more than 150 members of the surviving families of these braveRead more

Texas ranks third in the nation for malignant melanomas

Anita Mehta, MD, FAAD on 06.2.22

The deadliest of skin cancers Skin cancer can strike anyone. It’s the most commonly occurring cancer in the United States, affecting everyone regardless of race and other demographic factors. Repeated, unprotected sun exposure causes genetic changes in epidermal cells that can lead to skin cancers, including melanomas, the deadliest form of skin cancer – andRead more

Dignity Memorial Honors Military Funeral Traditions

Dignity Memorial on 06.2.22

The personal sacrifices made by members of the armed forces cannot be overestimated. We deeply appreciate those who have served our country with courage and selflessness.  Dignity Memorial® providers are honored to do our part in turn by caring for military veterans and their families. If you are a veteran or the spouse, parent orRead 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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