The never-say-die Assist the Officer crew, which oversaw a pandemic year that helped 26 HPD officers and their families to the tune of $659,000, is off to the races this spring.
The “race” will pit Union members against one another on track to get one of the special limited edition HPD model patrol cars. The checkered flag will be a blast notification sent to the members to announce their arrival and purchase options.
ATO’s Tom Hayes, the 3rd vice president of the Houston Police Officers Union, tells the tale of the tape.
“Originally, we created models of HPD patrol cars to be centerpieces at the annual ATO gala,” Hayes explained. “The trouble is we have had to postpone two galas due to the pandemic.”
“There was a demand for the toy cars, so we put them up for sale. We put them up for sale at 10 in the morning and were sold out by 1 o’clock.”
Needless to say, the demand was still as present as real HPD patrol cars in various neighborhoods.
So, Hayes and ATO ordered 200 more – 100 small ($25 each) and 100 large ($45 each).
“As we speak,” he said, “the cars have come from the factory. They are being detailed and finalized and packaged for HPOU. They will be ready for sale any day now – but I can’t say precisely when just yet.”
There will be a 2-car limit per person.
No one has yet speculated about the eBay resale asking price.
Because the last fleet of the cars went so quickly, some shifts were concerned that they never got the opportunity to make a purchase. “When we launch the opportunity,” Hayes said, “we will make sure Night Shift has ample opportunity to put in their request for the cars.”
Hayes was pleased with the ATO financial report and the figures that were very impressive, given the limitations posed by the distancing and masking rules spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent years ATO has been uniquely aggressive in its support for officers with serious illnesses or injuries they suffered in the line of duty.
Was the amount of $659,000 in fundraising benefits to help 26 HPD officers and their families a new record?
Hayes wasn’t sure but stressed that it certainly was a record beyond all expectations for the only year in history that saw numerous postponements and cancellations due to the pandemic.
Since 1991, Assist the Officer has provided more than $2 million to furnish this special assistance.
That number will continue to go up by the day!