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 am so proud of this department and want to thank each one of you for being on the front lines, continuing to protect the fine citizens of our city.
Tough Legislative Fights
This year we will be facing some tough fights during this legislative session. We have all heard about many of the “reforms” that are being proposed around the nation.
HPOU will be closely monitoring all the bills during this session regarding the police reform movement. There will be a run at our 143 protections as well as qualified immunity. I have found that most people do not understand Chapter 143 of the Local Government Code or the ramifications of officers losing qualified immunity. I have been working with several groups to get real information out to the legislative bodies that will be pushing these reforms.
It will be a hard fight, but I am confident that we will be able to work together to protect our rights and move forward. This fight will be expensive, so if you are not already contributing to the HPOU Political Action Committee (PAC), please consider doing so because this will drastically affect all of us. It will take all of us working together to keep our future secured.
HPOU PAC’s Importance
Speaking of our PAC, I want everyone to understand a few things about how PAC funds are spent. I have members who have expressed concern over specific candidates that we support.
The purpose of the HPOU PAC is not to advance any political agenda; it is to support those officeholders or candidates who support us on a local or state level. I can guarantee that you will not like everyone that we support politically.
There are times when I completely disagree with a candidate’s stance on certain issues. But it is not about our individual feelings. This is about supporting those politicians who support our organization and our goals, be them Republicans or Democrats.
If every member gives at least $5 a month, we will have one of the largest PAC funds in the state. This is what got us to where we are today and is the only way to keep our future secure.
You can add or increase your PAC contribution at any time on the first floor of the Union building.
Thanks to Old and New
I want to thank and congratulate our outgoing HPOU board members, Joseph Gamaldi, Christian Dorton and David Riggs, all of whom promoted to sergeant. Each of you served this organization well and we appreciate everything you have done. I am honored to succeed Joe Gamaldi as president of our great organization.
I look forward to working with our new board members and a special thanks to the executive board as they have worked extremely hard last year. Let us have a productive new year.
May you all have a safe and healthy 2021! Thank you all.