I want to first take the time to thank each of you for the hard work and dedication you show to this city. The members of the Houston Police Department are the best in the nation, and I am proud that you entrust our HPOU team to lead you into the new year. Welcome to the new board of directors as we get to work on setting some long-term goals for the HPOU. One of my personal goals for this year is to work with the department and other groups to bring more tactical training to our members. With attacks on law enforcement on the rise, it is important that we be prepared.
We must remember that the future of this city is very dependent upon people who will step up to face the challenges of the department. Like all major cities, we are having issues with hiring, retention, manpower allocation, and funding. Like never before, law enforcement is having to change with the times. More and more, we are tasked to deal with issues such as mental illness, addiction, and the homeless problem. For most of us, this is not what we trained for so many years ago. Yes, we are public servants, and yes, must adjust to the changing times, but we cannot lose our identity as Law Enforcement.
Our primary job is to keep the citizenry safe from those who choose to victimize others. The public will always need people like us who will hold that line and stop those who prey on them. We can train our officers to have a soft and caring nature because that is what society requires. But we must also have the fight of that dog in us to face down the wolves who will prey on the weak. None of us every want to be involved in a deadly force incident, but when or if it happens, we must be prepared. It all begins with a mindset, a winning mindset. Stay strong, continue training, and stay vigilant, because we never know when we will be tested. I truly believe that this profession is a calling, not just a job and we must treat it as such.