2019 Police Week spotlights an HPD strong point: The large number of the Department’s generations

Tom Kennedy, Editor

We want to duly note here how much fun it is to write stories about specific members of the HPD Family.

This issue represents the underscoring of the fun with two accounts of second and third generations of policing families that have honorably chosen the Houston Police Department as a lifetime calling.

On one page herewith you will see that Austin Gryder, the son of Gary and Debbie Gryder – two HPD officers – has aimed toward the L. D. Morrison Police Academy at a time when – due to an HPOU crusade – more cadets are being turned out than the ongoing attrition rate.

Gary Gryder gave his life for the citizens of Houston on June 29, 2008. We will never fail to remember this great guy’s service as an HPD officer and dedicated member of the HPOU Board of Directors. He was married to Debbie, also an HPD officer who frequently volunteered her time alongside Gary to direct traffic around their church on Sunday morning.

Austin Gryder was “adopted” by the HPD family and showed the determination to become either a left-handed pitcher for a Major League team (the Astros) or a Houston police officer. Fate has it that he has chosen the latter.

In December, HPD lost one of its most – shall we say – “heroic” officers, Sgt. Paul Weido, to a heart attack. Please read in this issue that Sgt. Weido amassed eight Life Saving Awards, all while doing his job on patrol at Westside. During his career Weido was an influential mentor, a good-humored modest individual who never wanted to be singled out as a “hero.” He was one of those recognized for a Lifetime Achievement Award, posthumously, at the May Police Week Heroes program.

The good HPD Family news?

His daughter, Abbigail, is now a cadet at the academy. Our story in this issue identifies the others in the Weido extended family who wore – or now currently wearing – a law enforcement badge.

The purpose of this editorial is to once again display the bright flashing sign – flashing in our minds’ eyes a month after Police Week 2019 – that emphasizes that HPD Family members stick together through thick (award presentations) and thin (line of duty sacrifices). We are trusted, tried and true. Our family is expanding, our commitment to protecting and serving Houstonians as dedicated as never before.

Stay tuned. We will have more of these stories upcoming in our next editions.