News

Police and the racial divide the subject of this year’s essay topic in HPOU’s annual scholarship contest

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 01.8.21

The HPOU Education Committee has announced the topic and deadline for application for this year’s scholarships awarded to the graduating seniors who are sons or daughters of Union members. Each applicant must write a 1,200-word essay, complete the necessary paperwork, and submit the completed applications no later than 4pm Friday, March 5. This year’s essayRead more

Supervisors: How to lead and support employees in your care.

Tom Jennings, Retired HPD Lt. on 01.8.21

I believe those of us who are called to be police officers must serve the public from the heart. If you are blessed with a servant’s heart you will place the needs of our citizens, first and foremost with patience, fairness, and with response to their concerns. Supervisors must continue to practice a positive attitudeRead more

2021 Outlook – The Roaring Twenties

Brian Craft, AIF on 01.8.21

Where do I start?  Yes, 2020, is over.  The year of COVID.  Will 2021 be the year of the vaccine/recovery?  Looks that way.  From the 10,000-foot level, it looks like a “perfect storm” for the Bulls.  Let me quickly point out what we are looking at: The Fed has stated that it will keep interestRead more

Are you covered in the event of an injury?

Yvonna Lex, FRBT on 01.8.21

Violence against law enforcement officers is on the rise. You can help protect your and your family’s financial future for under $1 a day with the Accident Champion hybrid plan from First Responders Benefit Trust. If you are injured, on or off duty, we pay cash directly to you regardless of any other coverage you mayRead more

Officer Leal personified officers’ love for humanity

Jay Gause, Retired HPD Lt. on 01.8.21

Editor’s Note: Retired HPD Lt. Jay Gause is now a Catholic deacon. He delivered a very moving message at the memorial service of Officer Ernest Leal. The Badge & Gun herewith prints Gause’s verbatim message at the service which celebrated Leal’s life. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” InRead more

Lessons to officers about finding ‘happily ever after’

Lisa Garmezy, Psych Services on 01.8.21

We are embracing a peaceful transition. Not in the presidency, but in this column, as I step back to welcome the current Psych Services staff to this space. On my way out, I challenged myself to shape my most frequently given advice to officers’ families into a single column. Ready? Start with troubled teens. IRead more

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The Presidents Message

New Year has new challenges, including PAC support, legislation

Happy New Year!

We can all agree that 2020 was a very stressful year. It all started with COVID 19, a virus that drastically changed all our lives. The political climate was high, as riots broke out, police reform was put at the forefront, and we sadly lost many of our brothers.

But as bad as it was, the rank and file of the Houston Police Department proved again why we are the best police department in the nation. Just like Hurricane Harvey, every officer went to work and did everything possible to keep the City of Houston from burning like other cities. We stayed Houston Strong!

The restraint and professionalism our officers demonstrated was very impressive. I received calls from other police unions around the nation praising our department for how we performed under pressure. I

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Thank you, Joe! Here’s to looking back and moving forward

Looking back over my time with the Union it is evident that I have worked with some really great leaders. As an HPOU board member, I had the good fortune to work with Gary Blankinship and J. J. Berry, who were class guys and taught me a lot about what a union should be and how it should function.

After taking J. J.’s place as 1st vice president in 2012, I had the honor of working with Ray Hunt and Joe Gamaldi, both of whom have been exceptional leaders for our great organization, and individuals that I am proud to call friends.

As most of you know, Joe worked very hard and burned a lot of time to prepare for the sergeant’s exam. In what should not be a surprise to anyone that he ended up number one on the list.

I am so very proud of his hard work and dedication to t

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Watch Each Other’s Backs! And let us never forget our hero, Sgt. Harold Preston

Editor’s note: Due to deadlines, this article was written prior to election results.

If it seems like not a day passes without you seeing in the news that another police officer was shot in the United States, you are right.

There has been a police officer shot every 28 hours this year That’s 255 as of Nov. 1.

Forty officers made the ultimate sacrifice as a result of that gunfire. While some politicians and news media pundits pontificate that there is no war on police officers, the statistics tell a very different story.

More than the last two years we have seen more than a 26 percent increase in police officers being shot. The current numbers show that it is not slowing down. In fact, it is getting worse – too far out of hand!

I will always express hope that t

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Get the word one more time: Get out there, support our worthy candidates but, by all means, VOTE!

I feel like I write this article every year, and every year it becomes more and more important that you get out to vote.

In case you have been living under a rock, we are living in very tumultuous times, especially if you are a police officer. Now more than ever it is your DUTY as a police officer to not only vote, but make sure that you educate your friends, family, co-workers, fellow church goers and anyone else you know on the issues important to us and who to vote for.

Then you need to follow up with folks to make sure they vote. You may need to give them a ride, you may need to take them with you. Be sure to go the extra mile because every vote counts in this election. One seat lost, flipped, one race won or lost can make all the difference in protection of our rights as police

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Here’s news you will hear from me and not through the rumor mill

Before the HPD/HPOU rumor mill gets going too quickly, I want to share with you all that my current term ending in December 2021 will be my last as the president of the HPOU.

It has been the honor of a lifetime to be your elected voice in Houston. For the last 10 years I have poured my heart and soul into the Houston Police Officers Union, working tirelessly to take care of every single one of you and your families.

Many have already asked, and I am sure more will, why now? This is purely a family decision, as I would like to spend more time with my daughters as they grow up. This 24/7/365 job as president is not always conducive to spending quality family time.

Do not fret, if you haven’t noticed the HPOU has become an eclectic mix of youth/experience, patrol/investigations, wh

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