April 2019

In this issue:

2nd Annual Heroes Awards ceremony proves to be Another success, recognizing HPD’s standouts

Heidi Hlavinka

Assist the Officer Foundation presented its HPD Heroes of the Year awards during the second annual Heroes’ Gala on March 30. The sold-out crowd filled the ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Downtown and included friends, family and supporters of HPD from all over Houston. Emceed by Sunny 99.1’s Dana Tyson, the Patrol Officer of the Read More Read more

Does HPOU provide member benefits? Yes!

Tom Kennedy

IN A CONVERSATION BETWEEN UNION MEMBERS LAST MONTH one member suggested that the Union doesn’t provide enough benefits. The second member said that flat wasn’t so and provided the proverbial “bullets” to prove the point. The Badge & Gun took the following notes. The Houston Police Officers Union provides:   Legal representation from the scene Read More Read more

Posse plays host to 600-plus calf scramblers In this year’s Livestock Show & Rodeo

Tom Kennedy

The HPD Calf Scramble Posse – out in full force again this rodeo season – put together another dynamite year at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, herding through more than 600 calf scramblers from throughout the Greater Houston area. Two of the scrambler collared calves that were sponsored by the Houston Police Officers Union. Read More Read more

Recognize fight’s over – it’s not an officer’s job risk his badge to inflict punishment on anyone

David Cole (HPD Retired)

While watching the national news on television the other night, the network was pleased to show what looked like a dash camera video of what happened after state troopers (not Texas DPS) had managed to stop a fleeing vehicle. There must have been a crash at the end of the chase. The suspect vehicle was Read More Read more

As we figured, changes inevitable in HPD body camera policies

Doug Griffith

I know it seems that every week we have new information regarding the body-worn cameras. Here’s the latest: there will soon be another policy coming out in the next few weeks regarding them. As many of you have seen, the new circular came out regarding wearing the cameras while at extra jobs involving clubs. The Read More Read more

HPOU’s ‘well-crafted’ financial seminars offer wit and wisdom for younger officers

Tom Kennedy

So you are in the early stages of your policing career in Houston and need basic financial advice. We’re talking questions such as:   Should I finance a home at a 15- or 30-year loan? Should I buy a new car or lease one? What insurance coverage do I need when I get married? What Read More Read more

HPOU sets up paw-nership with BARC; Paws and Patrol promotes pet adoption

Tom Kennedy

The HPOU has implemented what might jocularly be called the one-officer/one-dog program that operates hand-in-paw with BARC, the city’s adopt-a-pet operation. An idea developed by the HPOU resulted in the formation of Paws and Patrol, which began about two months ago, according to HPOU Board Member Sgt. Danny Levin, who also serves as board secretary. Read More Read more

HPOU scholarship award winners To be honored at April 27 breakfast

Tom Kennedy

HPOU Education Committee Chairwoman Rhonda Williams said 88 Union scholarship awardees will be recognized at an April 27 breakfast at the Breck Porter Building. Williams said the number represents the largest in the history of the program, which presents college freshman-year scholarships of $500 or $1,000 to the winning entrants of an essay contest. Every Read More Read more

Officer Hunt’s ‘Jokes and Justice’ fundraisers promote community interaction, drug recovery

Tom Kennedy

Senior Police Officer Kevin M. Hunt has founded “Jokes and Justice,” a comedy and poetry showcase fundraiser. Hunt hosts this event twice a year at the Houston Improv. Geared toward an adult audience, Hunt’s shows provide members of the local community with the opportunity to come out and enjoy great comedy for a great cause. Read More Read more

Law enforcement support group presents first-ever ‘Beyond the Badge’ award to HPOU’s Joe Gamaldi

Tom Kennedy

A citizens’ law enforcement advocacy group presented its first award to a police officer who goes the extra mile to enhance community relationships to HPOU President Joe Gamaldi. The “Beyond the Badge” award was presented by Caps4Cops founder and executive director Josh Ingram at the March general membership meeting. Ingram said the words spoken by Read More Read more

Officer Roland Rosas Patrol Officer of the Month

Tom Kennedy

The Union named Officer Roland Rosas its Patrol Officer of the Month for his responsive actions to a shooting at a residence last Dec. 28. Officer Rosas was working Southeast Patrol at the time but now is assigned to Central. This account was one of two connected to this monthly award to Rosas. HPOU’s Luis Read More Read more

Officer Miguel Guerra of Special Victims Investigator of the Month

Tom Kennedy

The HPOU honored Officer Miguel Guerra of the Special Victims Unit as Investigator of the Month in March for his expert interrogation techniques that resulted in charges against a grandfather for the continuous sexual assault of a child – his granddaughter, beginning at age 10 and continuing for at least two years. Guerra got the Read More Read more

Reminder: You must wear your vest at qualification range

Tom Kennedy

Rob Sandoval, a sergeant in the Firearms Training Unit, has issued a reminder to officers – all of whom must fire their annual qualifying rounds in the upcoming quarter – that they must wear their bullet-proof vests when they come to the range. “Most people are not used to it,” Sgt. Sandoval explained. “They come Read More Read more

Obituaries of HPD Family Members

Tom Kennedy

BAKER Retired Sergeant Alfonso A. Baker, Jr. passed away on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at the age of 61. He is survived by his wife, Mary Baker, and his son, Police Officer James D. Baker, assigned to the Westside Division. He was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Retired Senior Police Officer Martin Villarreal, Jr., Read More Read more

Fallen Heroes: Officer William F. Weiss

Nelson Zoch

July 30, 1901 In the summer of 1901, there resided in Houston two brothers from Powder Springs, Georgia. These two young men were cocky, confident and seemingly of means beyond appearance. They were J. T. Vaughn and his brother Newt. Their apartment/business was at 1113½ Congress Avenue between Fannin and San Jacinto. It was common Read More Read more

Kelsey-Seybold: What you need to know about heart failure

Kelsey/Seybold Staff

Because the heart cannot be easily repaired or replaced, heart failure is a serious issue. It’s also common. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 6 million Americans live with heart failure.   “I can’t stress enough the importance of regular doctor visits to assess your heart disease risk factors. Read More Read more