News

HPOU not just glazing over June 3 National Donut Day

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 05.5.22

No law enforcement personnel in the nation celebrates National Donut Day like Houston police officers. Due to COVID, the HPOU has not been able to adequately celebrate their favorite holiday for the past few years!  But, luckily for 2022, the HPOU will be furnishing officers with donuts by the dozen again on Friday, June 3Read more

Officer Barker with Ace!

Editorial Staff on 05.5.22

#PawstotheRescue is back with our friend Officer Shannon Barker from the Houston Police Officers’ Union! As a dog lover herself, Officer Barker was so excited to give Ace (A1810054) some much needed playtime which Ace loved! Ace is a happy and bouncy pup, he has lots of energy but also knows when to tone thingsRead more

Ok, so I listened…now it’s my turn to talk.

JoAnna Snider, Psych Services on 05.5.22

“Good words are worth much, and cost little.”  – George Herbert.  In my last article we looked at the art of listening well or active listening. I hope you’ve been working on those skills. They are so important in all relationships. However, how we speak and communicate to others is just as important as listeningRead more

Low-life Buntion Family Produces Death In HPD Family

Nelson Zoch, Rt. HPD Homicide Lt. on 04.7.22

Editor’s Note: Retired HPD Homicide Lt. Nelson Zoch was on duty in 1990 when Solo Motorcycle Officer Jim Irby was murdered in cold blood by lifelong criminal Carl Wayne Buntion. He detailed the case in his book, Fallen Heroes of the Bayou City, along with the stories of the first 106 HPD officers killed inRead more

Colorectal Exams Don’t Just Screen – They Save Lives

Kelsey-Seybold on 04.7.22

Colorectal cancer – cancer of the colon and rectum – affects men and women about equally and is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Sadly, more than half of all colorectal cancer deaths could have been prevented through colon cancer screening. Getting screened is your best medical defense against colorectal cancerRead more

Police Week’s ceremonies are coming up soon

Tom Kennedy, Editor on 04.7.22

The annual Police Week festivities in May will feature several traditions designed to recognize and honor the vaunted and ever-dangerous job of being a police officer. Many of the traditions are devoted to remembering police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Those events unfurl in Houston, Austin and Washington, D.C., where a week-long number ofRead more

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The Presidents Message

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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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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