Several years back the HPOU withdrew the membership from both major national police organizations, National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) and Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).
We continued to pay dues for anyone that wished to stay a member of FOP, but as a whole, we stopped participating in both. The HPOU was displeased with the direction NAPO was taking at that time and we had serious concerns with how FOP was handling state affairs here in Texas.
Although our relationship with NAPO has not changed and does not seem likely to in the future, there have been some very positive developments at the state level for FOP. Approximately two years ago, HPOU 3rd Vice President Tom Hayes was elected Vice President of the Texas State FOP. Since taking over that position, Tom and some of the other executive board members for Texas FOP have done an exemplary job in changing the culture and bringing the FOP into the 21st century.
As a result of the progress they have made, the HPOU board recently approved to add more than 850 members back into FOP, which will bring our total to more than 1,000 members. This makes us one of the largest lodges in the state and gives us an influential voice on the direction of the FOP here in Texas.
We believe this increased presence in the FOP will not only serve our members better on issues that arise in Austin, but also will help to make conditions better for officers across the state. Although we have relationships with our representatives and senators in Congress, since we do not have a federal PAC, being a part of the FOP allows for a more influential voice in Washington, D.C.
This is especially important when issues arise that may impact us here locally. This is a positive development for the HPOU, FOP and law enforcement across the state. If you would like to become an FOP member no charge to you, all that we ask is for you to come down to the HPOU office and fill out a small form with your information.
I am sure most of you are anxious for an update on contract negotiations with the City. However, we have yet to begin. We originally anticipated starting negotiations toward the end of February. Well, the only labor attorney that the City of Houston employs resigned from her position right about that time.
As a result, we had to delay the start of the contract negotiations while the City finds someone to negotiate their side. We are confident they are wrapping up their search and that we will get started on negotiations in the coming weeks.
The delayed start will not have an impact on our negotiations with the City. You will still receive the 3.48 percent raise in July. I just thought it was important for you to have the most up-to-date information.
With that being said, any rumors about anything contract-related, is just that, a RUMOR! Don’t believe anything you hear about Phase Down, Pay, PD days or anything else for that matter being negotiated because we have yet to have a meeting.
Honoring the Fallen
With May upon us, a reminder to everyone that National Police Week is the 13th through the 19th, honoring every police officer who has made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our communities.
With a heavy heart the Houston Police Department will be adding a name to the National Memorial, as our brother Sgt. Steve Perez made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our community during Hurricane Harvey.
In addition to the national ceremonies in Washington, D.C., our own Police Memorial Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 18th. We invite all the families of our fallen officers to a reception here at the HPOU that takes place at approximately 5 p.m. We begin to walk to the Memorial at approximately 6-6:15 p.m. and encourage anyone that would like to come to meet and walk with the families to please do so.
Although we honor our fallen brothers and sisters every day, this is a particularly special day to remind the families that we are all one big Blue Family. That the sacrifices made by their family member and them will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.
Stay in Touch
As always, be safe out there and if you need anything I am only a phone call, text (832-283-9492), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), message on Facebook, DM on twitter (@JoeGamaldi), away.