Onward and Upward
By 1940, HPD had grown to 466 officers and had a budget of $918,000. The increase in radios within the department caused several changes. For instance the first PBX operator was hired to filter calls and prevent undue delay in sending an officer to the call. Also, HPD began giving voluntary blood tests to determine the degree of intoxication of suspected drunken drivers..
1945: The Birth of HPOA
In 1945, the formation of the Houston Police Officers Association took place. Although this association was developed to assist officers, membership during the first two years was discouraged. The officers organizing this group had to “slip around” and meetings were often in secret. That was until 1947 when Governor Buford Jester signed into law the civil service bill known as 1269 M. This legislation gave valuable protection to union members and was significant victory for the officers of the department.
HPOA Protection in Court
In 1948, a state referendum was passed that allowed aggrieved police officers immediate access to the courts, which in turn gave them the protection from arbitrary demotion by unregulated political powers.
1949: The Chief Steps In
Police Chief Payne distributed an eight-page pamphlet with 150 rules and regulations governing officer conduct and behavior.