Editorial: Outpouring of HPD support by Houstonians Continues to be more obvious than ever before

Tom Kennedy

IT SHOULD BE MORALE-UPLIFTING TO HOUSTON POLICE OFFICERS that an obviously growing number of Houstonians and Houston businesses are being so demonstrative in their ongoing support.

As we know from daily news coverage, this encouraging condition is not always the case in America’s big-city police/community relationships. In Houston we are STRONG in working with community leaders everywhere, a growing practice that has seemed to intensify over the years.

At no time in recent history has this positive working relationship been more apparent than during the intensive workload burdened by HPD officers in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Instead of stepping back and dodging the challenges, Houston citizens stepped forward and shared the burden in many, many ways.

Last month the Badge & Gun published a Thank You list of helping hands from Houston area restaurants, fast food outlets, food supply companies and other businesses that graciously provided three meals a day for many officers. We have found that that number grows by the day.

The “feeding effort” required for the Perez family’s Celebration of Life for Sgt. Steve Perez on the day of the brave officer’s memorial service drew many new participants in the seemingly endless waive of help for HPD personnel. The story of that effort is in this issue.

Yet another show of appreciation and devotion also is amplified in another story herewith. Hurricane Harvey showed no mercy for the Houston Police Memorial on Memorial Drive just down the road from HPOU headquarters. The muck, the silt and the rubbish marring the sacredness of this great monument posed a difficult and costly challenge for any clean-up crew.

Then came the tireless volunteers from the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, whose bailiwick stretches from Shepherd Drive to the Port of Houston. That readily includes the Police Memorial. Volunteer coordinator Leticia Sierra amassed her troops and got to work as soon as they had a clean-up plan ready. Sierra craftily coordinated 327 individuals who volunteered almost 1,000 hours of manual labor to restore the memorial to its natural glories.

Thank you Buffalo Bayou Partnership!

Let it never be said that Houstonians don’t step forward for the police officers who often risk their lives – as did Sgt. Perez – to preserve and protect their freedom. Their show of appreciation and dedication has become obvious and continues to grow – which is a good situation to be in.