PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT GETTING ON – OR OFF – the “same page.
Today the HPD hierarchy, the Union and the mayor of Houston can truthfully say they are on the same page. Witness the January HPOU general membership meeting when Police Chief Art Acevedo, Mayor Sylvester Turner and our own president, Joe Gamaldi, took turns stressing to the Union members present that their hearts and souls go out to severely burned HPD Officer John Daily.
It would be safe to say that no one in the room had any doubts that the City and the Department were on the same page when it comes to helping out an injured HPD officer and his/her family in times of true need. The help was where the mouth was, too. Several organizations presented Daily’s father, Owen, and twin brother, fellow Officer Michael Daily, with checks to help make ends meet as John Daily endures multiple surgeries in what promises to be a long and strenuous recovery period.
History shows that mayors and even chiefs have not always been this demonstrative in their support of HPD officers in times of serious troubles. Previous mayors such as Kathy Whitmire and Bob Lanier, to cite several examples, never visited Union meetings unless they needed votes in one November or another. And the chiefs? Well, they have been known to show up more often than some of Houston’s mayors but not to display the fervor for their fellow officers as much as, say, Clarence Bradford or Art Acevedo.
Mayor Turner and Chief Acevedo have succeeded in making the point that “we are all in this together” – this business of protecting Houstonians from the evils of the streets and other more life-threatening dangers. The same, of course, holds true for HPD officers, such as John Daily, whose patrol car flipped and caught on fire when it was struck by a drunken driver out on Telephone Road early Christmas Eve.
The “text” on the same page of operation says the same thing, no matter who writes or says it: Let’s pray for Daily, see to his family’s every need and don’t let what he went through easily fade from our memory banks.
With support like this, our page should read: DON’T MESS WITH HPD!
The Houston community learned this again good and proper on Jan. 28 when four HPD officers were wounded and another injured in the shootout with drug dealers on the Southeast side. The mayor, the police chief, the fire chief and Joe Gamaldi outlined in great detail what happened, emphasizing that the jobs officers perform to keep the community safe is always dangerous and too often very life-threatening. We pray for complete recovery for all five officers involved.