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 President Joe Biden.
The Houston Police Department sent 24 officers as well as the Family Assistance Unit and the Honor Guard. The Honor Guard, led by Sgt. Armstrong, participated in the Candlelight Vigil, the highly anticipated Memorial Ceremony at the Capitol and stood guard at the National Police Memorial.
The HPOU graciously sponsored the trip, along with Assist the Officer, for the 2022 ATO Heroes’ Gala winners and their guests. Remember! Every month the HPOU has a Top Officer and Top Investigator of the Month. These officers are nominated by their supervisor, but any officer can nominate an officer/investigator.
At the end of the year, Assist the Officer chooses the Patrol Officer and Investigator heroes of the year from HPOU’s monthly winners. Those recipients are then honored at the upcoming ATO Heroes’ Gala and receive a free trip with one guest to Washington DC for National Police Week.
Officers from Bill Jeffrey’s squad and their spouses were also guests of the HPOU. It was inspiring to see Sgt. Vance up and around, as well as Officers Johnson, Morin, and Gutierrez. These officers were there to hear their friend and partner’s name read at the Candlelight Vigil and Capitol Memorial.
Sgt. Andy Miller and Officer Austin Gryder paid their own expenses to Washington and joined in the events. Any officer wishing to travel to DC for National Police Week can contact the HPOU in January and their name will be put on a list. The HPOU reserves a bloc of rooms, and these rooms are made available to officers wishing to make the trip to witness National Police Week.
Tillman Fertitta, our local entrepreneur, restauranteur, and Houston Police Foundation president as well as good friend of HPD, sponsored a dinner at McCormick and Schmick’s in DC.
Attendees at the dinner included Susanne Jeffrey and Jennifer Wilbanks with their families/friends. The dinner was open to all Houston officers and their guests. The dinner was a great way to wrap up a very busy few days and the opportunity to spend time with fellow officers and the survivors. Retired HPD officer and Mayor of Pasadena, Jeff Wagner and his family also made an appearance at dinner.
If anyone has not witnessed National Police Week, it is a must. Seeing and hearing the Heroes of the Police Department being honored certainly regenerates pride in being a Police Officer.