June 2019

In this issue:

Look out violent criminals! The next time you see SWAT, you might see the Bearcat stopping in on you

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Wrongdoers and n’er-do-wells beware, especially if you threaten violence against Houston police officers. SWAT has a new vehicle, which – to use a football analogy – can be “agile, mobile and hostile.” It’s known as “the Bearcat.” As SWAT Commander Larry Baimbridge described it, “We needed something a little more nimble than the Bear.” SWAT Read More Read more

8th Annual Police Week Heroes Award Winners

Shelly Molina, Photos by Matt Fowler

INSTRUCTOR OF THE YEAR – Sergeant Melissa Holbrook Sergeant Melissa Holbrook trains for the department and locally within the community in various fields including intimate partner violence, child abuse and sexual assault and is the liaison to the Houston Area Women’s Center. Sergeant Holbrook is a certified TCOLE Instructor and a Sexual Assault Family Violence Read More Read more

Men, don’t ignore important health screenings

Kelsey Seybold

Your wife has been after you about getting a medical checkup, but you feel fine. You’re thinking: what’s the big deal? You’re not alone. Many men avoid going to the doctor. Maybe you’re not comfortable talking about your health concerns, or maybe, since you feel okay, you simply don’t see any reason to see your Read More Read more

HPD Bike Relay heads for Boston on June 25

Tom Kennedy, Editor

The HPD Bike Relay Team’s 38th annual ride, which raises funds and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, begins at the HPOU Building at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 25 with 26 participants bound for Boston. Team leader Ronnie Mascheck (HPD Retired) said, following tradition, the team consists of HPD officers, family members and a Read More Read more

Ex-Officer Earl McFarland Kills Deputy Chief Murphy With ‘Smoking Gun’ but Galveston Jury set Him Free

Nelson Zoch, Contributor

EOW: April 1, 1910  In April of the year 1910 Earl McFarland, a man from a prominent law enforcement and public service family in Southeast Texas, had it in for his former boss, Houston Deputy Police Chief William E. Murphy. The feeling was quite mutual. It started when it became Chief Murphy’s duty to fire Read More Read more

With gratitude, from our members…

Heidi Hlavinka, Copy Editor/Designer

Dear HPOU, Our family would like to thank you for the plant in honor of our father. Your support and kindness was very much appreciated! Alvin, Debra, and Mary Steelman   In our time of loss you have given us peace and healing through your comforting words. We are forever grateful. Thank you for your Read More Read more

The Ins and Outs of Body Armor

Doug Clabough, Southern Specialty Enterprises

There are 4 main types of body armor: 1) soft, 2) composite, 3) hybrid, 4) hard.  There are five classes of body armor, Level IIA, Level II, Level IIIA, Level III and Level IV.  These levels are established by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).  The designations established by the NIJ and are defined by Read More Read more

The Unlikely Adventures of Officer Hankimer T. Mergatroyd

David Cole, HPD Retired

Officer Hank Mergatroyd kissed his wife, Sally Bee, goodbye at the front door of their home. She handed him a brown paper bag with his lunch inside. He thanked her and went to his car, a faded red 1985 Dodge Ram Charger with 500,000 miles. As Hank drove out of his subdivision and up to Read More Read more

Comply Don’t Die, Live to Have Your Day in Court

Barbara A. Schwartz

The slogan “Comply Don’t Die. Live to Have Your Day in Court” was created to highlight this unmistakable fact: if citizens complied with an officer’s lawful commands, no force would need to be used. If the news media led with this fact instead of immediately throwing cops under the bus after every use of force Read More Read more

BARC seeing plenty of adoption success with HPD officers posing with adoptees

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Paws and Patrol are barking up the right tree. The proof is in the pictures accompanying this account of the latest three HPOU members who posed with potential adoptees from BARC, the city’s animal adoption agency. HPOU Board Member Officer Steve Turner made a big hit with Larry. Larry’s most favorite thing in the world Read More Read more

Who’s that HPD cadet? Why it’s Sgt. Paul Weido’s daughter!

Tom Kennedy, Editor

By the end of the summer, HPD will have another Weido on its roster. The second Weido in HPD will automatically draw quick attention from officers and other Department personnel well acquainted with her father, Sgt. Paul Weido, who died from a heart attack late last year. The Badge & Gun has duly recorded Sgt. Read More Read more

HPOU provides sponsorship and runners for 4th Annual Katy Back to School 5K

Tom Kennedy, Editor

The Houston Police Officers Union has become one of the sponsors in a Labor Day (Sept. 2) event known as Katy Back to School 5K, benefitting Ainsley’s Angels. A flock of HPOU members plan to be among the more than 500 runners who will participate. There will be some of Ainsley’s Angels “rolling” their way Read More Read more

National Police Week – May 10-17, 2019 – Austin

Tom Kennedy, Editor and Heidi Hlavinka, Copy Editor/Designer

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National Police Week – May 10-17, 2019 – Washington, DC

Tom Kennedy, Editor and Heidi Hlavinka, Copy Editor/Designer

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Sergeant Jeremy Medina awarded HPOU Investigator of the Month honors in May

Tom Kennedy, Editor

HPOU presented its Investigator of the Month honor to Sergeant Jeremy Medina in its May general membership meeting. Medina is a valuable member of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, which has investigated violent gang crimes since April 2017. In that two-year period, Sergeant Medina has made a significant impact in reducing the gang crimes Read More Read more

Darrell Kuykendall of 05 Entertainment Agency receives plaque of appreciation from ATO

Tom Kennedy, Editor

The Assist the Officer Foundation presented Darrell Kuykendall of 05 Entertainment Agency, second from right, a plaque of appreciation for organizing Back the Blue at Stampede Houston, a highly successful fund-raising event on behalf of ATO. The event, already rescheduled for a repeat performance next year, raised almost $19,000. Held April 28, the event lured Read More Read more

Sign up now for the Sept. 13 ATO Golf Tourney

Tom Kennedy, Editor

The Assist the Officer Foundation has scheduled its annual ATO Charity Golf Tournament for Sept. 13. All proceeds will benefit ATO as this year’s event will be separate and apart from the annual 911 Heroes Fun Run and the Stars and Stripes Charity Golf Tournament. Tournament chairman Doug Griffith said a diligent effort is afoot Read More Read more

2019 Police Week spotlights an HPD strong point: The large number of the Department’s generations

Tom Kennedy, Editor

We want to duly note here how much fun it is to write stories about specific members of the HPD Family. This issue represents the underscoring of the fun with two accounts of second and third generations of policing families that have honorably chosen the Houston Police Department as a lifetime calling. On one page Read More Read more

Son of Gary Gryder, Austin, has sights on HPD

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Austin Gryder, son of HPD Hero Gary Gryder (EOW 06/29/08), graduated Sam Houston State University and is awaiting a call from HPD Recruiting to begin his career as a Houston police officer. Austin will be following both his mom and dad into the HPD family. Debbie Gryder is a retired HPD officer. Read more