April 2017

In this issue:

July/August Obituaries of HPD Family Members

Tom Kennedy

BABB Retired Sergeant James A. Babb passed away on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at the age of 53. He was a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He joined the Houston Police Department on October 5, 1989, Academy Class #136. During his career with the Houston Police Department he was assigned to the Westside Read More Read more

Hats off to the Calf Scramble Posse for extablishing The Hard Luck category in this year’s scrambling!

Tom Kennedy

IN THOSE OLD WESTERN MOVIES THE POSSE ALWAYS GOT THE cattle rustlers. Today’s version – the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Calf Scramble Posse – always gets its calf scramblers every year at NRG Stadium. This year the posse took a different trail to the winner’s circle and honored a special “hard luck” scrambler. Let’s Read More Read more

Officer Larry Trepagnier: After 34 years we respectfully ask the question: Should this officer’s death be classified as happening in the line of duty?

Nelson Zoch

For those of you who remember the tragic night of July 13, 1982, and if you have in your possession the book, FALLEN HEROES OF THE BAYOU CITY, I would ask that you update your recollection of that incident. For those of you who were not with HPD at that time, this article will provide Read More Read more

Fallen Hero: Officer James Donald Harris

Nelson Zoch

July 13, 1982 James Donald Harris was born in Syracuse, New York, on October 17, 1952. He grew up in the Syracuse-Auburn area and graduated from Auburn High School in 1971. He served his country honorably for three and a half years in the United States Air Force as a military policeman. Harris joined the Read More Read more

Opinion: Department’s ‘guidelines’ are really strictly-enforced rules

Ryan Lumpkin

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the Houston Police Officers Union or the Badge & Gun. Recently I attended a class at the academy which was taught by a supervisor of mid-level rank. Overall, I believe the message was positive and the instructor had a passion for Read More Read more

Super Bowl tickets for Gary Gryder’s son Austin served to honor family members of all Houston fallen officers

Tom Kennedy

That event known as Super Bowl LI kept the Badge & Gun on an HPD family-oriented roll that spotlights an unbelievable opportunity, quick thinking and great seats at one of the greatest games ever played in Houston and the NFL, for that matter. As so often is the case, our story starts with an extra Read More Read more

Retired Night Patrol officer responded to a special HPD family Need for the Gryders, stands ready for more of the Lord’s work

Tom Kennedy

Members of that great organization known as the HPD family always seem to step forward with the ultimate thoughtful gestures when a grieving family member is involved. Such was the case at the 2008 memorial service for Senior Police Officer Gary Gryder, killed in the line of duty by a drunken driver at the site Read More Read more

NFLPA Executive Director ‘De’ Smith made deep Houston impression

Tom Kennedy

DeMaurice F. “De” Smith currently serves as the executive director of the NFL Players Association, a position to which he was unanimously elected eight years ago. Before that the gentleman who prefers to be called “De” compiled an impressive law enforcement career from the prosecutorial side of the justice equation. After graduating from the University Read More Read more

Department partners with Women’s Center in two courses, One taught at the Academy, the other to run to raise funds

Tom Kennedy

Members of HPD’s Special Victims Division, led by Capt. Dana Hitzman, participated in the Feb. 25 Race Against Violence, a fundraiser for the Houston Area Women’s Center, the department’s partner in a mandatory in-service class on family violence and sexual assault. “The event was great,” Hitzman said, “and everyone was so impressed with our shirts! Read More Read more

Foundation-sponsored Gun Challenge goes over big!

Rob Sandoval and Sid Veliz

The Houston Police Foundation hosted the first ever Multi-Gun Challenge at the Houston Police Academy on Jan. 14. The event consisted of six stages of fire using all the ranges on the property, challenging the competitors with skill and scenario based courses of fire. A special thanks to Assistant Chief Charles Vazquez for authorizing this Read More Read more

HPOU honors Officer Dion Gil as Patrol Officer of Month

Tom Kennedy

Officer Dion Gil was working patrol on Feb. 21 when he checked out a report of “a suspicious person/weapon” at an apartment complex on North Wayside on the southeast side. Gil promptly discovered the suspect male suspect with a pistol standing with two females near a red pickup that had been stolen during an aggravated Read More Read more

Psych Service: Start of a new retirement is much like first day of your freshman year

Lisa Garmezy

Editor’s Note: Dr. Garmezy is retiring but we hope that in the future she will continue to contribute columns to the Badge & Gun.   Leaving HPD on your own terms, our office teaches. You shouldn’t have to leave because you’re stressed out, or worse, got pushed out. Right. Changes in the pension system have Read More Read more

Fallen Heroes: Officer Richard Snow

Nelson Zoch

March 17, 1883 The tragic events surrounding the death of Officer Richard Snow have been pieced together from 1883 newspaper accounts, which contain the descriptive language common to the era. The chronology begins with March 18 and 20 reports from The Houston Daily Post. On Saturday night, March 17, 1883, Officer Richard Snow was at Read More Read more

A record number (at least 80) of HPOU scholarships To be awarded at special April 10 breakfast event

Tom Kennedy

The annual HPOU college scholarship program will once again set new records. At least 80 sons and daughters of Union members will receive a record $40,000 in individual scholarships to help defray expenses during their first semester of college. The winners will be honored at a special Saturday breakfast at the HPOU building at 1600 Read More Read more

Tips from a Kelsey-Seybold Optometrist for Maintaining Good Eyesight

Kelsey Siebold Staff

As a police officer, you know you have to work to maintain your health to be able to give 100 percent to this demanding job. While working out, drinking plenty of water and eating healthy meals is fantastic, there are other parts of your body that need to be considered in a comprehensive health plan. Read More Read more

Obituaries of HPD Family Members

Tom Kennedy

ALVAREZ Mrs. Zoraida Alvarez passed away on Friday, March 3, 2017, at the age of 89. She is the mother of Lieutenant Jose R. Martinez, assigned to the Emergency Communications Division. Graveside services were held March 13 in Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery. BAKER Retired Detective Donald I. Baker passed away on Saturday, March 4, 2017, Read More Read more

Thank You Notes to HPOU

Tom Kennedy

THANK YOU The Airport Division (IAH) would like to thank each and every person who helped with the AR-15 raffle benefiting Officer J. Gomez.  The raffle exceeded all expectations raising $20,060.00 that the Gomez family desperately needed and truly appreciates.  On February 16, 2017, a two year officer assigned to NE nights became the proud Read More Read more