Joe Gamaldi called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ken Nealy read the meeting dedication for Officer Leon Griggs who died in the Line of Duty on Jan 31st, 1970.
Rev. Corey Wilson led the prayer.
All elected and appointed board members were sworn in by Ray Hunt.
Mayor Sylvester Turner congratulated Joe Gamaldi as the new President of the HPOU.
Chief Acevedo spoke briefly about demanding accountability from the District Attorney’s Office and adding resources to the department. Chief Acevedo gave well wishes to the Union board and Union members.
Council Member Dwight Boykins, HPOU Former President Hans Martcic, Former Tax Assessor Mike Sullivan, US MARSHALL Gary Blakenship , Former HPOU President JJ Berry
Officer Ramon was presented with a $32,800-dollar check from Assist the Officer for the benefit held in his honor. Officer Ramon heroically served the City of Houston throughout Hurricane Harvey while currently battling cancer.
Labor Attorney Ron Delord briefly spoke about the importance of PAC and some of the coming challenges for law enforcement labor groups.
Bill Fife and Ruth Bush presented Sgt.Ruiz with a rifle in honor of her military service. Ruth Bush announced the winners of the essay competition sponsored by her and her husband Bill Fife and awarded Officer Juarez and Officer Blum with rifles.
Joe Gamaldi recognized Scott Siscoe who is running for Judge for 412th District Court in Brazoria County.
PATROL OFFICER OF THE MONTH
Joe advised the membership that Ricardo Rivera and Ricardo Rivera from the Southwest patrol division would be Officers of the month. Luis Menendez-Sierra presented the award.
INVESTIGATOR OFFICER OF THE MONTH
Joe advised the membership that the investigator of the month would be Detective Annete Keys.
Lt. Colborn presented the award.
Joe informed all in attendance that the treasurer’s report was on the tables and asked if there were any questions. Joe asked the membership if they had any questions to contact Tim Butler and he would assist them.
Joe reminded all members that minutes are posted at HPOU.org
Joe Gamaldi congratulated the new appointed members. Ken Nealy as 2nd Vice President, Alex Mayo as Director 2, Norma Lazo as Assistant Secretary, LT Thomas Hardin as Sergeant at Arms, and Eric Carr as Parliamentarian.
Joe reminded members to attend and support the Nestor Garcia benefit taking place on January 5, 2018 at the Union Hall.
Joe informed members about the “Drive for 500 pledge” where he will be asking City Council Members to pledge, adding 500 new officers throughout the next five fiscal years. Joe asked members to attend the “Drive for 500 pledge” press conference event being hosted on January 17, 2018 at 2:00pm at the Union Hall.
Tom Hayes updated members on ATO payments. Tom advised there was $700,000 dollars raised by ATO and that there is approximately $200,000 dollars left to distribute to Officers affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Joe stated if members had violent cases where he/she believes their suspect should not have received deferred adjudication to contact him. Joe asked members to provide him with the incident number when asking him to review a specific case.
Joe informed the membership that $750 million dollars had been delivered to HPOPS from bond elections and that there is currently 5.4 billion in the pension fund.
TLEC- Joe announced that the HPOU had partnered with our fellow police labor unions in TLEC to lobby Senator Cruz and Cornyn to remove harmful language from the tax reform bill. Joe announced that we were successful in having the harmful language stripped from the bill.
Joe stated no contract meetings have been held yet and to not believe the contract rumors. The first contract meeting will be held soon.
Joe informed the membership that Aspen University was on site to speak to officers about education opportunities.
Joe thanked Sgt Luis Menendez-Sierra and all the board members who participated in hosting Christmas Dinner for officers at the Union Hall.
Joe informed the membership to turn their body cameras on. Joe stated that a pilot program is currently being tested at Southwest where the body camera activates as soon as the officer exits his/her patrol vehicle.
Joe reminded the membership that the contract expires at the end of this year and that we are due for a 3.48% pay increase in July. Joe requested that members send an email suggesting changes they would like to see to him, Doug Griffith or Tom Hayes
Joe reminded the membership that there are two sponsored spots left for the National Law Enforcement retreat for anyone who is interested.
Joe reminded Officers to take the physical agility test. If passed, Officers who were hired prior to 03-30-2011 receive $800 dollars and those hired after that date receive 40 PD hours.
Joe advised the membership the cookout at KingWood was successful and that the next cookout will be taking place at the Southwest station on January 18, 2018.
Joe reminded the membership that scholarship applications are out and can be found on HPOU.org, in the Badge and Gun, on the HPOU FB/Twitter page. Joe reminded members to please turn in their applications before the deadline. Joe informed the membership that $36,000 dollars were given out in scholarships to 77 students last year.
Joe reminded the membership that Health Assessments are due by Feb. 2nd.
Joe advised the membership to follow him on Twitter (@JoeGamaldi) or the HPOU (@HPOTX) and help share information to draw attention to important cases.
Joe reminded the membership that there is a blood drive going on in the 4th floor until 2pm.
Joe informed the membership that ATO would be hosting an HPD boxing event at the Knockout Factory on February 10, 2018 at 5:00pm. Tickets are $15.00 dollars each and you can purchase them at the front desk. All proceeds will benefit ATO.
Joe reminded officers planning on retiring soon to visit Public Safety Financial group for a free financial consultation.
Joe reminded the membership to utilize the Doctors Council of Texas if they are injured in the line of duty. Joe advised this would save a lot of headaches in the future dealing with workers compensation.
Joe advised the membership that there are guns for purchase, at cost, from Tim Butler.
Joe advised the membership if they needed a realtor to use Michael Bedner who advertises in the Badge and Gun.
Joe advised the membership that HOPA the peer support group is live at 832-200-3499.
Joe advised officers that if they know of anyone who needs assistance to please encourage them to contact HOPA.
Joe reminded everyone to restrict his or her voter registration information. Spouse may restrict voter information as well.
Joe advised the membership to consider utilizing Newport Group for their deferred compensation.
Joe reminded the membership to use urgent care centers instead of emergency rooms. Urgent care facilities are $65 dollars compared to the ER visit of $400 dollars.
Joe asked members to invite officers to “like” the HPOU Facebook page and follow the HPOU on Twitter at @hpoutx. Joe encouraged the membership to follow him on Twitter @JoeGamaldi and help share information on social media platforms.
The next meeting will be on February 1, 2018.
Tom Hayes reminded members that ATO Gala tickets are being sold and can be purchased at the front desk. Tom Hayes advised members to help find sponsors for the Gala, which will be taking place on Saturday Feb 2nd.
Joe Gamaldi announced the door prizes; three sets of Rocket’s tickets and two dinner gift cards to Texas de Brazil Steakhouse.
Doug Griffith made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Robert Breiding seconds the motion. The motion passed by a majority of membership.
Minutes prepared by: Norma Lazo, Assistant Secretary