May 2019

In this issue:

HPOU members proving to be willing photo subjects in BARC Paws and Patrol partnership

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Paws and Patrol is part of a pet adoption team that works on an almost daily basis with BARC, which is dedicated to a live release initiative that has happy endings for animals and their new adoptive owners. Since the HPOU-sponsored initiative began several months ago the Union has worked to furnish at least one Read More Read more

Metabolic syndrome: three or more risk factors that can damage health

Kelsey Seybold Staff

Metabolic syndrome, also referred to as Syndrome X, can occur in individuals who may have put on a little too much extra weight over the years, who shoulder high levels of job stress, and who may not have attended to their health maintenance as they should. It’s not a disease, per se, but rather a Read More Read more

Smash, the deaf horse in HPD’s Mounted Patrol, is a real stud – his daughter Kitty’s the proof!

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Over the years the Badge & Gun has profiled various HPD family teams – fathers and sons, twins, etc. – but has succeeded in discovering yet another “family first” in the Department. You do recall Smash, the unique mount in HPD’s Mounted Patrol, right? Smash the paint, as many folks across the continental United States Read More Read more

Who are the Iron Pigs? The newly formed HPD nationally competitive grappling team

Tom Kennedy, Editor

In case you haven’t heard, the Houston Police Department not only has a softball team called the Heat but now has a grappling team known in these parts as the HPD Iron Pigs. The team has at least 50 members and continues to grow by the week, although only about 10 people, all HPD officers, Read More Read more

First annual ATO softball tournament shortened by bad weather but raises $9,000 in funding

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Yet another Assist the Officer fundraising tradition was established with the first annual We Are One Softball Tournament held April 13 with a bottom-line total of $9,000 in funding. Officer Frank Medina, coordinator of the tournament and the pitcher on HPD’s official softball team, the Heat, said 13 teams participated, battling inclement weather that resulted Read More Read more

Retired HPD Sgt. Al Baker was longtime believer in education – especially the HPOU scholarships

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Retired HPD Sgt. Al Baker, a one-time spokesman for the Department, left a legacy centered around education and children. Baker became a grandfather for the first time about three months before he succumbed to non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on March 21, two days after his 61st birthday. The 35-year HPD sergeant was a firm believer in education. Read More Read more

Support group’s Clooney Award presented to HPOU’s Sgt. Luis Menendez-Sierra

Andrea Schmauss, 2nd VP - HCPAAA

Sgt. Luis Menendez-Sierra is the 26th recipient of the Annual Lynn Clooney Officer of the Year Award.  The award is named after Lynn Clooney, a graduate of the very first Houston Citizens’ Police Academy class. Clooney was inspired by the officers who taught the class and became a founding member of the Houston Citizens’ Police Read More Read more

Officer Daily’s father thankful for fundraising, outreach as his son shows determined improvement

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Owen Daily stepped up before HPOU’s general membership meeting on April 4 to thank the men and women in Houston Blue for their continuous support for his son – one of their own, Officer John Daily. Officer Daily continues a grueling recovery from the fiery Christmas Eve collision with a drunken driver, resulting in second- Read More Read more

Officer Ashley Kelley Patrol Officer of the Month

Tom Kennedy, Editor

HPOU presented the Patrol Officer of the Month honor to Officer Ashley Kelley of the South Gessner Division in its April general membership meeting. Recognizing Kelley’s decisive actions when a suspect physically attacked her aggressively enough that she feared for her life. Last Nov. 14 Kelley responded to a call on Beechnut concerning an aggressive Read More Read more

Detective Medina Investigator of the Month

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Detective Ashley Medina of the Special Victims Division, Adult Sex Crimes Unit tracked down a Lyft driver who raped an intoxicated passenger who had passed out in his car, interviewed the suspect and got him to admit to the crime. For her hard work and dedication to duty, Medina was named the HPOU Investigator of Read More Read more

Noted Gambler got his Shotgun and Murdered Two of Houston’s Finest on Tragic Day in 1901

Nelson Zoch, Contributor

EOW: DECEMBER 12, 1901  On Wednesday, December 11, 1901, at about 4 p.m., a tragedy occurred at the intersection of Congress Avenue and San Jacinto Streets in the heart of downtown Houston. After the gunshots quieted, a large crowd shadowed the scene. There they saw two of the Houston Police Department’s finest lying dead, one Read More Read more

Obituaries of HPD Family Members

Heidi Hlavinka, Copy Editor/Designer

ABERCIA Retired Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Jack Faour Abercia Sr. passed away on Sunday, April 7, 2019, at the age of 85. He is the father of Senior Police Officer Patrick R. Abercia, assigned to the Northwest Division, and retired Senior Police Officer David W. Abercia, who was last assigned to the Northeast Division Read More Read more

Don’t let violence be the primary influence in your life

Deacon Blue

She was a beautiful young woman. She was dressed in a pretty gown and her hair was in an elegant up do. A shiny gold necklace was around her neck. Her makeup was perfect. She lay on her back in the new spring clover and the sunshine of a perfect day.  Her eyes were closed Read More Read more

Does intense video game use signal the collapse of parenting?

Lisa Garmezy, HPD Psych Services

Leonard Sax is a psychologist and a family doctor who in March confidently told a Houston audience how to raise kids. He blamed the “collapse of parenting” for young people’s lack of interest in making a meaningful contribution to society or even paying their own bills. Sax claimed that children and teens today are more Read More Read more

With gratitude, from our members…

Heidi Hlavinka, Copy Editor/Designer

The family of Retired HPD Sgt. Phillip D. Tippen acknowledges with deep appreciation your kind expressions of sympathy. Thank you, Rachel, Andy, Erin   Dear Ms. Williams & HPOU, I was so excited to receive my scholarship awards letter! What a blessing! I look forward to meeting you at the Awards Breakfast. God bless you Read More Read more

Stampede Houston’s Back the Blue event raises $10,000 for Assist the Officer

Tom Kennedy, Editor

The first-ever Back the Blue Assist the Officer fundraiser, held on the last Sunday in April, raised more than $10,000, setting a remarkable fundraising pace for the organization that helps officers and their families in need. HPOU 1st Vice President Doug Griffith praised the organization of the event, coordinated by his long-time friend Darrell Kuykendall, Read More Read more

Scenes from the 2019 ATO Heroes’ Gala

Heidi Hlavinka, Copy Editor/Designer

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This year’s Police Week activities begin with special service at the Police Memorial

Tom Kennedy, Editor

It can truly be said that Houstonians go to great lengths to honor Houston’s finest during National Police Week held across the nation each May. This year will be more of the same – from Friday the 10th through Friday the 17th – when events are scheduled to increase the public’s awareness of the role Read More Read more

My viewpoint from the outside looking in

Heidi Hlavinka, Copy Editor/Designer

OVER THE FIVE YEARS OF MY employment with HPOU, I’ve had the often surprising experience of being a civilian working with classified officers. As I try to condense my experiences into something coherent, I have difficulty finding one way to describe it. I have mostly moments. I think in those moments what I see are Read More Read more

Take a bow, HPOU Education Committee for the success of scholarship presentations

Tom Kennedy, Editor

ONCE AGAIN THE HPOU EDUCTION COMMITTEE carried out the highest priority on its duty list – the annual presentation of the Union’s scholarships to the graduating seniors who are the sons and daughters of HPOU members. Each of these college-bound young men and women were the centers of attraction at the breakfast held in their Read More Read more