Get ready for the biggest ATO Heroes’ Gala ever!

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Last year tickets to the Assist the Officer Heroes Gala were in such demand that the venue bulged to over-capacity.

That heavy demand prompted the planners for this exciting 3rd annual tradition to move to a new bigger location, with a new band, and new host hotel!  Still convenient to the HPOU’s office and downtown amenities.

Tickets are $95 each ($190 per couple) and available online. Mark the date, if you haven’t already, to Saturday, March 28 at that new venue, the Ballroom at Bayou Place, located at the old Albert Thomas Convention Center, 500 Texas Avenue. Even the dinner tables are larger than before, accommodating 10 instead of just eight people. Cost to reserve a 10-top table is $950. Ticket link:

“We have more space for more people to attend,” event co-chair Gabriela Gregory said. “We’re looking for about 500 guests this year. Last year there were people calling and asking for tickets right up until the last minute. Gregory was careful to stress, “The Assist the Officer’s 3rd Annual Heroes’ Gala will be more exciting and grander than the previous years, so be sure to visit ATO’s Facebook for sneak peaks!”

The gala has become the ideal place for HPD and the supporters of Assist the Officer to dance, have fun and, especially, to honor the heroes of the Department.

The ATO will recognize the Officer of the Year and the Investigator of the Year based on the monthly honorees recognized by the Houston Police Officers Union. Last year a total of eight HPD officers – four in each category – were named as heroes.

Once again, popular radio DJ Dana Tyson of Sunny 99.1, the friend to numerous Houston police officers, will serve as emcee. However, with a new and larger band, Infinite Groove, “the ambassadors of fun,” will be tuned in as the dance band on a bigger-than-ever dance floor.

The premier host hotel will be the historic Lancaster Hotel which is only steps away from the ballroom. Call 713-228-9500 to reserve a room with discount code ATO by Feb. 25. These special ATO accommodations include a gourmet breakfast buffet, complimentary premium high speed WIFI, 10 percent discount off Cultivated F+B restaurant located in the hotel, welcome champagne/sparkling water at registration, and complimentary snacks/drinks in your room.

This year will also include a Ladies and Men’s raffle (do not need to be present to win) and it will feature customized thin blue line watches. More items to be announced! Co-chairing the event with Gregory is Sgt. Matt Williams.

Doors open at at 5 p.m. Saturday the 28th. HPOU/ATO Photographer Gary Hicks will be available to take pictures of couples and groups – free of charge! The sit-down dinner will begin at 6 p.m. with the presentations of the heroes to promptly follow.

“Assist the Officer is very excited about this year’s program,” ATO chairman Tom Hayes said. “It’s always a great honor and privilege to recognize the officers who have stood out as heroes this year and every year.”