April 2015

In this issue:

Thank You Notes

HPOU, Thank you all for the beautiful plant that was sent to my husband’s service. It is so comforting to know that my family has such great support from y’all at such a hard time. Thank you all again – everything was beautiful! Love, The James “Jim” Smith Family Sharon, John, Pen & Chris  HPOU, Read More Read more


Mendoza Mr. Felix E. Mendoza, Sr. passed away on Tuesday, March 17, 2015.  He is the grandfather of Sgt. Julie Pleasant, assigned to the Emergency Communications Division and uncle of Senior Police Officer David S. Vasquez, Jr., who is assigned to the Major Offenders Division. Services were held March 20. Milam Mrs. Josephine Milam, 102, Read More Read more

Psych Services: HPD Retirement: ‘If you don’t have an exit plan, you won’t exit

Lisa Garmezy

The numbers are bad. On average, Houston police employees retire at age 53 with 26 years of service, spend 16 years in retirement and die at age 69. Line-of-duty deaths and suicides help keep this number low. If you look just at employees who survive to retirement, the picture brightens: now your expected time in Read More Read more

Fallen Heroes: Officer Antonio “Tony” Guzman Jr.

Nelson Zoch

January 9, 1973 Antonio “Tony” Guzman Jr. was born in San Antonio on September 18, 1942. He attended Ben Milam Elementary and Brackenridge High School in San Antonio and served his country in the United States Army for seven years. Guzman joined the Houston Police Department on August 23, 1971, graduating in Police Cadet Class Read More Read more

HPD soccer competing against HFD In special April 25 fundraising match

The Houston Gunners F. C. (football club), the department’s soccer team, will take on the Houston Fire Department in a special fundraising “Guns and Hoses” event following the Houston Dynamo match the evening of April 25 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Team spokesman John Huston said the team hopes to break a two-game losing streak from Read More Read more

Municipal court’s 8 a.m. schedule change Should be more convenient for HPD officers

Effective April 2, officers subpoenaed for municipal court cases will be able to check in at 8 a.m. instead of 10 a.m., making court appearances much more convenient for officers and the affected citizens. The policy change made by Chief Municipal Judge Barbara E. Hartle came at the urging of the Houston Police Officers Union, Read More Read more

Get ready for Police Week in May

As usual, the Houston Police Department will observe a full slate of activities during this year’s Police Week beginning on Friday, May 8. The week is designed to increase the public’s awareness of the role of officers and to honor those who have given their lives so that citizens can live in safety and peace. Read More Read more

Defining unarmed

Barbara A. Schwartz

Another police shooting made national headlines, claiming an officer shot an “unarmed” man, resulting in protests. The definition of “unarmed” needs clarification. What those wearing the badge consider armed verses unarmed; and what the civilian public and media consider armed verses unarmed, differ. Time to educate When an individual strikes an officer, that individual crosses Read More Read more

HPD Plan: Safety training and awareness reducing cost of claims

James M. Garza

In an effort to reduce injuries along with the volume and cost of claims, the Houston Police Department has strived to improve safety training and awareness, as well as revise and enhance departmental policy. In the last three years, HPD has spent a total annual incurred cost of the following: 2012 2013 2014 Num of Read More Read more

Upton: SRG remains alert in case of reported Ebola cases

Although news reports of Ebola virus cases in the United States have been reduced to zero, the Houston Police Department remains alert and has a plan in place for handling any case that might break out. Research in the wake of the few reported Ebola cases on American soil shows the risk factor to be Read More Read more

Bruce Wright chosen Patrol Officer of the Month

The Houston Police Officers Union honored Officer Bruce Wright as the Patrol Officer of the Month at its March general membership meeting. The Union’s Luis Menendez-Sierra called Wright “a rock star” of the department who “always goes above and beyond the call of duty. “Three times in the last six weeks I have seen him Read More Read more

Nichols appointed to take Garza’s place on board

HPOU has sworn in Kawanski “Nic” Nichols as the Union’s newest board member, replacing Position 1 Board Member J. G. Garza, who recently retired from HPD. Nichols, a Montgomery, Alabama, native and U. S. Army veteran with a tour of Iraq under his belt, graduated from HPD Academy Class No. 211 in 2011. He started Read More Read more

New HPOU app has everything an officer needs; Just click it and call it, Menendez-Sierra explains

Are you ready for a great free download? You got it! It’s the first-ever HPOU app for your cell phone. 2015 calendar book published annually by the Union for the benefit of its members. All you have to do is download it on your cell phone by going to Google Play or iTunes, providing your Read More Read more

Editorial: A great idea becomes reality With the new HPOU app

IT’S ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE AN HPD OFFICER’S idea become a reality when the real product makes the often thankless job a lot easier. In the latest example of a bright idea actually becoming reality, HPOU board member Luis Menendez-Sierra took note of the fact that most new officers were not using the valuable information Read More Read more

HPOU PAC Votes To support Turner For Mayor

Ray Hunt

Houston city elections will take place in seven months for the mayor and council races.  The HPOU Political Action Committee (PAC) has met twice this year and made endorsements in many of the races. Mayor Parker is term-limited and Houston will have a new mayor in January 2016. Several candidates are seeking to succeed her. Read More Read more