HPOU’s informal Meet and Greet sessions enable officers to share latest investigative techniques that get the crooks

Tom Kennedy

The HPOU Meet and Greet programs are get-togethers for officers to allow them to share their latest crime-fighting information and criminal intelligence in a laid-back social atmosphere.    HPOU Board Member Kawanski Nichols, chairman of the Meet and Greet Committee, said, “The purpose is to bring officers out to share information and new ideas. We want to create an environment where officers share information like the crooks we catch share about us.    “Crooks share all the time but officers don’t as often as they should.”    Nichols said the first Meet and Greet drew more than 40 officers at the Cottonwood Restaurant off Shepherd and 34th Street. While officers had food from the Cottonwood menu, they talked about such topics at BMV suspects and juggers.

Nichols loves the fellowship opportunities. “It’s mainly for officers to get their point across to other officers where they don’t have to go through the channels to get this information shared.”

He said the opportunities are great for passing on information “that officers don’t believe is being addressed but believe needs to be moved up the chain of command.”

The second Meet and Greet was held on Sept. 26 at St. Arnold’s Brewery off Lyons Avenue in Fifth Ward. Nichols was joined by HPOU board members Rhonda Williams and Rebecca Guderson-Dallas to meet and greet officers from four divisions – Eastside, Clear Lake, South Central and Southeast.

Each of these programs start around 7 p.m. and last several hours.

Nichols started the programs about six months ago and will continue regularly scheduled events throughout 2017.

“We will go to locations all over Houston and attract officers from every division,” he said. “The more informal activities we have to share information beneficial to all of us the better we can serve Houstonians. The legwork can be shared so that we can start to catch criminals who might be using the same criminal techniques in another division.

“Also, we know that officers sharing their successful investigative techniques in their division helps officers in other sections better do their job while investigating the same types of crimes.”

Nichols expressed thanks to HPOU President Ray Hunt and members of the HPOU Executive Committee who not only strongly believe in the concept but pay the food tabs.